Neonatal morbidity associated with shoulder dystocia maneuvers

Janine E. Spain, Heather A. Frey, Methodius G. Tuuli, Ryan Colvin, George A. MacOnes, Alison G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective We sought to examine neonatal morbidity associated with different maneuvers used among term patients who experience a shoulder dystocia. Study Design We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all women who experienced a clinically diagnosed shoulder dystocia at term requiring obstetric maneuvers at a single tertiary care hospital from 2005 through 2008. We excluded women with major fetal anomaly, intrauterine death, multiple gestation, and preterm. Women exposed to Rubin maneuver, Wood's screw maneuver, or delivery of the posterior arm were compared to women delivered by McRoberts/suprapubic pressure only, which served as the reference group. The primary outcome was a composite morbidity of neonatal injury (defined as clavicular or humeral fracture or brachial plexus injury) and neonatal depression (defined as Apgar <7 at 5 minutes, arterial cord pH <7.1, continuous positive airway pressure use, intubation, or respiratory distress). Logistic regression was used to adjust for nulliparity and duration of shoulder dystocia, defined as time from delivery of fetal head to delivery of shoulders. Results Among the 231 women who met inclusion criteria, 135 were delivered by McRoberts/suprapubic pressure alone (57.9%), 83 women were exposed to Rubin maneuver, 53 women were exposed to Wood's screw, and 36 women were exposed to delivery of posterior arm. Individual maneuvers were not associated with composite morbidity, neonatal injury, or neonatal depression after adjusting for nulliparity and duration of shoulder dystocia. Conclusion We found no association between shoulder dystocia maneuvers and neonatal morbidity after adjusting for duration, a surrogate for severity. Our results demonstrate that clinicians should utilize the maneuver most likely to result in successful delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353.e1-353.e5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • neonatal morbidity
  • shoulder dystocia
  • shoulder dystocia maneuvers


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