Objective: To compare the management of and neonatal injury associated with shoulder dystocia before and after introduction of mandatory shoulder dystocia simulation training.
Methods: This was a retrospective, observational study comparing the management and neonatal outcome of births complicated by shoulder dystocia before (January 1996 to December 1999) and after (January 2001 to December 2004) the introduction of shoulder dystocia training at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, United Kingdom. The management of shoulder dystocia and associated neonatal injuries were compared pretraining and posttraining through a review of intrapartum and postpartum records of term, cephalic, singleton births in which difficulty with the shoulders was recorded during the two study periods.
Results: There were 15,908 and 13,117 eligible births pretraining and posttraining, respectively. The shoulder dystocia rates were similar: pretraining 324 (2.04%) and posttraining 262 (2.00%) (P=.813). After training was introduced, clinical management improved: McRoberts' position, pretraining 95/324 (29.3%) to 229/262 (87.4%) posttraining (P<.001); suprapubic pressure 90/324 (27.8%) to 119/262 (45.4%) (P<.001); internal rotational maneuver 22/324 (6.8%) to 29/262 (11.1%) (P=.020); delivery of posterior arm 24/324 (7.4%) to 52/262 (19.8%) (P<.001); no recognized maneuvers performed 174/324 (50.9%) to 21/262 (8.0%) (P<.001); documented excessive traction 54/324 (16.7%) to 24/262 (9.2%) (P=.010). There was a significant reduction in neonatal injury at birth after shoulder dystocia: 30/324 (9.3%) to 6/262 (2.3%) (relative risk 0.25 [confidence interval 0.11-0.57]).
Conclusion: The introduction of shoulder dystocia training for all maternity staff was associated with improved management and neonatal outcomes of births complicated by shoulder dystocia.
Level of evidence: II.