Shoulder dystocia is form of obstructed labor. Most obstetricians and midwives will tell you that this problem strikes a bit of dread in teams attending a birth. Fortunately there are a series of clever maneuvers that can often help release a newborn's shoulder from behind the mother's pubic bone. However, in some cases the maneuvers themselves can be dangerous and in other cases they may not work. Dr. Abraham Yaari is a very experienced obstetrician (from Israel but working in the U.S. for deacdes) who has had his share of difficult deliveries. He became increasingly concerned over the last decade as babies have gotten bigger, making the risk of 'shoulder dystocia' higher.
Dr. Yaari took his concerns and created an idea. He then researched and patented that idea, a novel device to resolve shoulder dystocia. Now called the Yaari device, this ingeniously simple little mechanism is on its way to being tested and commercialized.
The consequences of unresolved shoulder dystocia can be grim. In the process of trying to dislodge the infant's shoulder, injury can occur to the brachial plexus. More disconcerting, the infant my suffer asphyxia and the mother has an increased chance of experiencing bleeding as a result of tearing and trauma.
The Yaari device is essentially two stainless steel arms attached to a silicone or medical grade fabric sling. The sling slips behind the infant's shoulder and rotates the shoulder slightly to bring it out from behind the public bone. Instead of using a hand, fingers or another instrument, the ultra-thin hammock allows a very minimally invasive presence behind the shoulder of the infant while the two arms of the device can very carefully fine tune their alignment to release the shoulder.
We are very pleased to be working with Dr. Yaari to help commercialize his device.
Photo credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Mongolia labor and delivery ward.