Zavanelli Maneuver Medical Definition

What is the Zavanelli Maneuver?” 

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  • Zavanelli Maneuver

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Zavanelli Maneuver medical definition: The Zavanelli Maneuver is a medical maneuver where an obstetrician will push a partially delivered, but un-deliverable, baby back into the vaginal canal so that the baby may be delivered via cesarean section. This can be necessary in severe cases of shoulder dystocia (where the baby’s shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother’s pelvis and therefore stuck). The Zavanelli Maneuver is usually a last resort for doctors struggling to release a baby’s shoulder. It is a rare maneuver that has been used with measurable success.

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Zavanelli Maneuver in Medical Malpractice Cases

While the rare Zavanelli Maneuver itself has been used successfully, it is most often the shoulder dystocia that causes distress to either the mother or the baby. Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately in order to prevent brain damage or other harm to the baby. When doctors fail to perform successful births when there were aspects they could have controlled, it may constitute a medical malpractice case. 

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