Fetal shoulder dystocia.

Shoulder dystocia is an unpredictable obstetric complication with the incidence of 0.15% to 2%. An increase in the incidence of shoulder dystocia has been recorded over the last 20 years, probably just because it has now been regularly registered at maternity wards as an obstetric complication. The risk factors for shoulder dystocia include fetal macrosomia, fetal malformations and tumors, maternal adiposity, excessive weight gain during pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, pathologic pelvis, multiparity, short maternal stature, advanced maternal age, postterm pregnancy, so-called midforceps delivery or vacuum extraction, prolonged delivery stage II, oxytocin labor induction, premature fetal expression according to Kristeller, and previous shoulder dystocia in macrosomatic children. The sequels of shoulder dystocia and obstetric maneuvers for incarcerated shoulder release include clavicular fracture, brachial plexus lesions, sternocleidomastoid muscle distension with or without hematoma, diaphragmatic paralysis, Horner's syndrome, peripartal asphyxia and consequential cerebral lesions (cerebral palsy), and peripartal death. Maternal complications due to shoulder dystocia are postpartal hemorrhage, cervical and vaginal lacerations, frequent infections during the puerperium, symphysiolysis and rupture of the uterus, and secondary cesarean section with related complications due to unsuccessful obstetric procedures or as continuation of Zavanelli's maneuver. McRoberts' maneuver (or Gaskin maneuver) is recommended as the initial procedure for shoulder release in case of shoulder dystocia. If it fails, other obstetric procedures such as Resnik's suprapubic pressure and Woods' grip with posteriorly placed arm release should be used, always with gross lateral episiotomy. The performance of all these obstetric procedures requires skilfull and highly experienced obstetrician and obstetric team as a whole.
AuthorsDubravko Habek
JournalActa medica Croatica : c╠ćasopis Hravatske akademije medicinskih znanosti (Acta Med Croatica) Vol. 56 Issue 2 Pg. 57-63 ( 2002) ISSN: 1330-0164 [Print] Croatia
PMID12596626 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Delivery, Obstetric (methods)
  • Dystocia (complications, etiology, therapy)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor Presentation
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoulder

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