Paris AE et al. – Despite historical recommendations for an episiotomy to prevent brachial plexus injury when a shoulder dystocia is encountered, the trend authors observed does not suggest benefit from this practice.Methods
- All births at Brigham and Women’s Hospital from September 1, 1998 through August 31, 2009 were reviewed.
- Total number of births, mode of delivery, shoulder dystocias, episiotomies with and without shoulder dystocias, and brachial plexus injuries were recorded.
- A non-parametric test of trend was performed.
- There were a total of 94,842 births, 953 shoulder dystocias and 102 brachial plexus injuries.
- The rate of episiotomy with shoulder dystocia dropped from 40% in 1999 to 4% in 2009 (p=0.005) with no change in the rate of brachial plexus injuries per 1000 vaginal births.