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ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 40: Shoulder Dystocia

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Abstract

Shoulder dystocia is most often an unpredictable and unpreventable obstetric emergency. Failure of the shoulders to deliver spontaneously places both the pregnant woman and fetus at risk for injury. Several maneuvers to release impacted shoulders have been developed, but the urgency of this event makes prospective studies impractical for comparing their effectiveness. The purpose of this document is to provide clinicians with information based on published studies regarding management of deliveries at risk for or complicated by shoulder dystocia.

© 2002 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists