Posterior axilla sling traction: a technique for intractable shoulder dystocia

Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Feb;113(2 Pt 2):486-488. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318190a2d6.


Background: We describe a new method for delivery of intractable shoulder dystocia with posterior axilla sling traction.

Cases: Two cases of shoulder dystocia after intrauterine death are described where routine methods of delivery were unsuccessful. In each case, a soft plastic suction catheter was folded in half over the operator's fingertip and digitally inserted around the posterior shoulder, under the axilla, and retrieved with the other hand to create a sling to which traction was applied. The posterior shoulder, followed by the anterior shoulder, was easily delivered.

Conclusion: Posterior axilla sling traction may overcome intractable shoulder dystocia and avoid more traumatic procedures in fetal death.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Dystocia / etiology
  • Dystocia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Shoulder
  • Stillbirth*
  • Traction / methods*
  • Version, Fetal / methods*