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Difficulty in delivery of fetal shoulders

Failure to deliver fetal shoulder without utilizing facilitating maneuvers


Prolonged head-to-body delivery time
>60 seconds
Incidence: 0.2-3% of all live births; represents an obstetric emergency
Shoulder dystocia results when, after delivery of the fetal head, either the
anterior shoulder, posterior shoulder, or both, fail to delivery with the
normal movements and forces of delivery. The anterior shoulder is most
commonly impacted. This problem results from a size discrepency between
the maternal pelvic inlet and the width of the fetal shoulders.
The incidence of shoulder dystocia is difficult to calculate due the subjective
nature by which it is reported. A range of 0.2% to 3.0% of all vaginal births
has been reported in the literature, dependent upon the criteria used to
define it.

Shoulder dystocia complicates 0.6 to 1.4%


of vaginal deliveries of fetuses in the
vertex presentation.