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Shoulder Dystocia: Using Simulation to Train Providers and Teams

Fahey, Jenifer O. MSN, MPH, CNM; Mighty, Hugh E. MD

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: April-June 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 114–122
doi: 10.1097/01.JPN.0000319097.05415.1d

Shoulder dystocia is an obstetric emergency that requires immediate recognition and a well-coordinated response. This response must include effective application of the maneuvers proven to relieve the impaction of the fetal shoulder and timely hand-off of the newborn to the neonatology team. The rare frequency of shoulder dystocia, coupled with patient safety concerns and the medico-legal environment, limits the opportunity of providers to learn and practice the management of shoulder dystocia. Training, especially simulation-based training, has been demonstrated to improve the management of shoulder dystocia. This article presents a review of the literature that supports simulation training for shoulder dystocia and provides guidance on creating and implementing shoulder dystocia training.

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Corresponding Author: Jenifer O. Fahey, MSN, MPH, CNM, 326 Dewey Dr, Annapolis, MD 21401 (

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Submitted for publication: January 13, 2008

Accepted for publication: February 19, 2008

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.