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From The CriticsReviewer: Gilad A. Gross, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This third edition of a comprehensive review of shoulder dystocia (SD) details nearly every aspect of SD including prevention, recognition, treatment, outcomes, and other implications (such as medicolegal) from both a research standpoint and clinical (especially author) experience. It is not clear how this edition differs from previous editions.
Purpose: The intent is to make practitioners aware of patients at risk for SD and the means to prevent this potentially devastating complication. Additional goals are to present mechanisms of treatment and means to prevent/minimize neonatal injury. These are quite worthy objectives given the potential severity of this obstetric complication and, overall, the objectives are met.
Audience: Physicians, midwives, and professionals in training are the intended audience. Students wishing to learn more about SD could also turn to this as a reference.
Features: The book initially focuses on risk factors and means to identify at-risk patients and reduce the chance of SD. Special attention is given to diabetes. Recognition and treatment measures/maneuvers are detailed and outcomes of neonates are examined. Medicolegal considerations receive ample attention and a chapter covers implications for midwifery. The fact that this book is dedicated to one major complication of pregnancy makes it quite unique. Individuals with an interest in SD will enjoy having this as part of their library. However, there is a fair amount of overlap, especially in chapters 13-15 where contributing authors repeat a lot of the information previously presented by the main author. The book could benefit from more illustrations, especially in chapter 5 on pelvimetry, which is very hard to follow. Author bias is apparent in several recommendations that are based on experience rather than evidence-based data. In a chapter dedicated to in utero causes of brachial plexus injury, it is easy to detect the author's opinions of this area of research.
Assessment: For practitioners or researchers with an interest in SD, this is a valuable book. If one is presenting SD in a paper or lecture, this can be very useful. Those involved in medicolegal work may also gain something from this resource. This unique book is a good contribution to the field of obstetrics.
Colleen P. McNicholas, DO (Washington University School of Medicine) contributed to this review.