Shoulder dystocia - Definition

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Definition


Shoulder dystocia is an obstetric situation characterized by the blockage of a large fetus (over 4 kg) at the edge of the mother's pelvis. The expulsion of the infant being born is rendered impossible when the biacromial diameter-- the distance between the two shoulders of the fetus-- is over 13 cm, or if there is an abnormal orientation. Very serious and unpredictable, shoulder dystocia is rare. Its risk is increased by fetal macrosomia, which may be due to conditions such as a prolonged pregnancy, diabetes, or obesity, and it can have serious consequences for both mother and child.