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Shoulder dystocia


Shoulder dystocia


A shoulder dystocia is an obstetric emergency that is difficult to predict and the occurrence of which can have a massive impact on both neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality.

Learning aims and objectives

This article aims to help you:

  • Understand the importance of early recognition of a shoulder dystocia
  • Know the actions to take should a shoulder dystocia occur
  • Be aware of the postnatal complications a shoulder dystocia may have on the mother and her baby


Obstetric emergency, shoulder dystocia, PROMPT, brachial plexus injury

Linking topics

Neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality, neonatal resuscitation, PPH, third and fourth degree tears, obstetric emergency

Activities and questions at the end of this resource will enable you to assess your knowledge and reflect on how you can incorporate it into your own practice. In the following questions, please select the answer that you believe to be correct. This will be marked and then you can move on to the next question. If you wish, at the end you can return for a further attempt at the questions.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to download and save or print a certificate to include in your CPD/ revalidation portfolio.