news

Newborn baby bleeds to death after doctor convinces parents to get him circumcised.

A heartbreaking loss.

When this baby boy was 22-days old his parents reluctantly decided to have him circumcised.

They had decided against the procedure, his mother Homa Ahmad saying that she was convinced that “mother nature created us the way she intended us to be” but the couple were convinced by their family doctor to go through with it.

For four-weeks their loving, smiling baby lit up their lives in a way they never knew was possible, but tragically the circumcision changed their lives in a way they never knew possible – the little boy bled to death.

His parents have now gone public with his story in the hopes it never happens to another family.

Parents, Homa Ahmadi and John Heydari from Toronto in Canada said they knew almost immediately after their son’s procedure that something was seriously wrong.

The little boy, born on in January 2013 “was crying so much, so hard, and he wouldn’t stop.”

The National Post reports that Ms Ahmadi said previously Ryan was  an “unfussy” baby and never cried.

“He gave us the most amazing moments of our life,” she said.

Upon taking him home from his circumcision he continued to bleed until his newborn nappy was filled with blood.

“He was bleeding, and it only got worse over just hours … It was so obvious from the blood his tiny body had lost that he was in danger.”

Homa Ahmadi and John Heydari from Toronto in Canada. ( Facebook)

His nappies continued to fill with blood pouring from his wound.

For the paediatrician who performed the circumcision though nothing was amiss. He said in evidence presented to a hearing that Ryan’s circumcision was uneventful and there was no bleeding when he checked the dressing before the family left.

At home after their baby continued to bleed the couple called for medical advice over the phone. They were advised to take their son to hospital.

The National Post reports that the tiny baby was transferred to another hospital – a children’s hospital but after severe blood loss he died seven days later.

Pathologists said he succumbed to “hypovolemic shock” caused by bleeding from the circumcision, which emptied his body of 35 to 40 per cent of its blood.

“We … waited for care that could have saved his life, but that level of care never came,” said his mother.

Ryan died aged 22-days old.

The tragic death has only come to light two years afterwards due to a secret review board discipline session which saw the doctor involved investigated and “cautioned”. The couple then appealed the decision.

The review board gave the doctor who saw Ryan in the emergency department hours after his circumcision another “caution”. While the Ontario College of Physician and Surgeons advised the paediatrician who conducted the circumcision to be “mindful” of the procedure’s potential hazards.

ADVERTISEMENT

But for Ryan’s parents it is not enough.

“We are so shocked that we will not have an answer to bring us some peace for our broken hearts, to prevent other cruel deaths like Ryan’s and to ensure that doctors take proper care of their patients,” she told The National Post.

The debate surrounding circumcision is fraught with emotion. The procedure is carried out for many reasons, religious, cosmetic and in rare cases, for medical reasons.

In recent years the rate of circumcision in Australia has fallen and it is now estimated that around 32 percent of Australian men under 30 are circumcised.

In fact the procedure is fairly difficult to get – it is banned at public hospitals, but can be carried out privately.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians say that they believe the decision to get a baby circumcised rests with the parents.

“After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand. However it is reasonable for parents to weigh the benefits and risks of circumcision and to make the decision whether or not to circumcise their sons.”

According to a post by Brian J. Morris and Dr Alex Wodok for The Conversation the two doctors argued that there are in fact many benefits to circumcision:

“Benefits include reduced childhood urinary tract infections, which are common, painful and often cause permanent kidney damage. Male circumcision also provides some protection against many common, as well as not so common, sexually transmitted infections, including the epidemic of cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus and genital herpes, genital ulcer disease and HIV, among others.

Circumcision also helps protect against penile candidiasis (thrush), inflammatory skin conditions and inferior penile hygiene. It can help those with physical problems, such as a tight foreskin that interferes with passing urine, and an inability to return the foreskin after it is retracted. It virtually eliminates the risk of penile cancer that occurs in one in 1,000 uncircumcised males over their lifetime. And there may also be some reduction in the risk of prostate cancer.”

Around 32 percent of Australian men under 30 are circumcised.

According to website Circumcision Information Australia each year in the United States, where the procedure is more popular,  more than 100 newborn baby boys die as a result of circumcision and circumcision complications.  The authors of a study, published in the journal Thymos, say that the deaths are often not recorded as being from circumcision, but instead from stroke, bleeding, infection or reactions to anaesthesia.

“The study, by researcher Dan Bollinger, concluded that approximately 117 neonatal deaths due directly or indirectly to circumcision occur annually in the United States, or one out of every 77 male neonatal deaths. This compares with 44 neonatal deaths from suffocation, 8 in automobile accidents and 115 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.”

In Australia there have been no recorded deaths from circumcision.

For Homa Ahmadi and John Heydari the death of their baby Ryan has left an empty space.

“The loss of Ryan, our only child, has made us realise that we can’t possess anything, even our hopes and dreams,” Homa Ahmadi told The National Post.

“We hope that this never happens to any other baby.”