Davis DD, Roshan A, Canela CD, Varacallo M. Shoulder Dystocia. 2020 Dec 2. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 29261950.
Shoulder dystocia is, by definition, a mechanical problem occurring during a vaginal delivery characterized by one of the following parameters:
– Failure to deliver the fetal shoulders using solely gentle downward traction;
– The requirement of additional delivery maneuvers are needed to successfully deliver the baby;
– A documented head-to-body interval of greater than 1 minute;
Unpredictable and often unavoidable obstetric emergencies complicate 0.6% to 1.4% of all vaginal deliveries. All obstetric providers are required to be knowledgeable regarding the risk factors and management of shoulder dystocia.
Furthermore, shoulder dystocia can lead to obstetric brachial plexopathies such as Erb’s or Klumpke’s palsies. Injuries to the brachial plexus during birth can be categorized as upper lesions, involving C5-6, lower lesions, involving C8-T1, or total plexopathies involving C5-T1.
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