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Failure to Perform Emergency Procedures During Labor & Delivery

Syracuse Lawyers Representing Birth Injury Victims

Many parents are overjoyed on the day of their child’s birth. However, if a baby suffers fetal distress during labor and delivery, it is imperative that healthcare providers act appropriately. The failure to perform emergency procedures during labor and delivery can result in lasting harm. Often this means performing an emergency C-section to remove the baby and administering medical treatment, but there are also other procedures that may be performed in urgent situations. If your child suffered injuries during labor and delivery, contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano to speak with our Syracuse birth injury attorneys.

Failure to Perform Emergency Procedures During Labor and Delivery

During labor and delivery, healthcare providers need to monitor fetal distress, umbilical cord issues, changing fetal blood pressure, positioning of the fetus, and an irregular fetal heartbeat. If they notice something troubling, they may need to perform an emergency procedure. Emergency procedures can include C-sections, artificial rupture of membranes with an amnihook, episiotomy, moving back an inverted uterus, use of forceps, and repair of a ruptured uterus.

C-sections are major surgeries that permit a surgeon to deliver an unborn child by making an incision in the abdomen and uterine wall of the mother. Performing an emergency C-section may allow a baby that would otherwise die or suffer a severe birth injury to survive. Failing to perform emergency procedures such as an emergency C-section during labor and delivery when called for can result in serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, asphyxia, brachial plexus injury, and brain damage.


If your baby suffers brain injuries due to your healthcare provider’s failure to perform an emergency procedure, you may have grounds to bring a medical malpractice claim for birth injuries. You’ll need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. In New York, the professional standard of care depends on the geographic region and the defendant’s specialty. If your baby was harmed by a failure to perform a C-section in response to fetal distress, the court would look at whether an obstetrician-gynecologist in the Syracuse area would have responded the same way as your doctor did.

In order to establish the elements of medical malpractice, you will likely need to rely on experts. You need to retain an expert even before filing a medical malpractice complaint because the state requires the filing of a certificate of merit indicating the attorneys reviewed the case and consulted with at least one licensed doctor who they reasonably believe is knowledgeable in the pertinent issues involved and that they’ve concluded because of the consultation there is a reasonable basis to commence a medical malpractice lawsuit.


Birth injuries can be both emotionally and financially devastating. They may result in the need for a baby to receive lifelong care. Most families do not anticipate labor complications when planning to have a child. If you can establish liability for medical malpractice, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic losses arising out of the birth injury. Economic losses include medical bills and reduced earning capacity. Noneconomic losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, scarring, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment. In some situations, birth injuries result in a premature death. If the failure to perform emergency procedures during labor and delivery results in a child dying soon after being born, it may be possible to recover wrongful death damages.

Consult a Seasoned Birth Injury Lawyer in Syracuse

If you believe your baby was harmed by mistakes made during labor and delivery, you should call an experienced trial attorney as soon as possible. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent babies and their families in Syracuse, Rochester, and other places in Upstate New York, including in Cooperstown, Auburn, Oneida, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, Oswego, Binghamton, Watertown, Utica, Elmira, Herkimer, Ithaca, and Lowville. Please contact us at 833-200-2000 or via our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY