What Is Shoulder Dystocia?
What Is Shoulder Dystocia?
What is shoulder dystocia? For many parents, they may see and experience the condition without knowing the medical description. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby becomes trapped behind the mother’s pelvis. Due to the real possibility of the umbilical cord becoming compressed, shoulder dystocia is a delivery room emergency and must be treated as such. Doctors must use the maneuvers and techniques they are taught to help free the baby. In addition, because an emergency is created, doctors and nurses must have quick and accurate communication lines with each other.
Even though doctors cannot predict whether shoulder dystocia will be present during a delivery, doctors can pay attention to certain factors which increase the risk of a shoulder dystocia issue presenting during labor and delivery. As mentioned above, during a shoulder dystocia event, not only can the baby suffer injury to their arm, their hand, and shoulder (clavicle), but injury due to fetal hypoxia, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, can also present itself.
What Are Some Of The Risk Factors For Shoulder Dystocia?
Although shoulder dystocia can pose some risk to mother, the greatest risk during this event is to the child. Because of cord compression, doctors must work timely to free the child. What can happen in some instances is that a reduced level of blood and oxygen gets to the child due to the compression. Doctors can look to some of the following to determine if there may be an increased risk of shoulder dystocia complications during delivery:
How Do Doctors Manage Or Treat Shoulder Dystocia?
Doctors should be well versed in the management of shoulder dystocia, especially when certain risk factors are present. Since cord compression is a serious concern with shoulder dystocia, one focus must be to deliver the baby as soon as possible when the head appears. With that said, doctors cannot manipulate the baby in such a way as to invite injury. Therefore, it is suggested that the doctors use gentle attempts to guide the baby, along with maternal effort.
Shoulder Dystocia Treatment & Maneuvers
What Are The Types Of Injuries Which Can Result From Shoulder Dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia can lead to injuries to the baby’s arm, hand, shoulder, and brain. The injury will depend on what area of the body is injured. Injuries to the limbs can occur due to a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves leading from the neck into the upper part of the shoulder. These nerves can become injured due to the use of force freeing a baby during a shoulder dystocia injury. As mentioned above, injury to the brain can occur due to a compressed umbilical cord. Some of the typical shoulder dystocia injuries are as follows:
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