Risk factors for brachial plexus injury in a large cohort with shoulder dystocia

Katherine A. Volpe, Jonathan M. Snowden, Yvonne W. Cheng, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine birthweight and other predictors of brachial plexus injury (BPI) among births complicated by shoulder dystocia. Study design: A retrospective cohort study of term births complicated by shoulder dystocia in California between 1997 and 2006. Birthweight at time of delivery was stratified into 500-g intervals. Women were further stratified by diabetes status, parity, and race/ethnicity. The perinatal outcome of BPI was assessed. Results: This study included 62,762 deliveries complicated by shoulder dystocia, of which 3168 (5 %) resulted in BPI. The association between birthweight and BPI remained significant regardless of confounders. Each increasing birthweight interval was associated with an increasing risk of BPI compared with 3000–3499-g birthweight. Race/ethnicity, diabetes, and parity were also independently associated with BPI. Conclusion: Increasing birthweight increases the risk of BPI among births with shoulder dystocia, independent of advanced maternal age, race, parity, gestational diabetes, or operative vaginal delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-929
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Birthweight
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Shoulder dystocia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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