One of the greatest risk factors of neonatal death within the first month of birth is circumcision, but no one talks about it. No one knows about it. Many parents in the U.S. believe that when a boy is born, you get him circumcised. That’s the end of it. There’s no discussion, there’s no anxiety. That’s because we don’t expect anything to go wrong. Although there are many reasons to circumcise, we almost never hear about the reasons not to circumcise.
Botched circumcisions happen all the time. Each year, over 100 newborn boys die as a result of circumcision operations. Some of these deaths occur because of doctor-made mistakes, while others occur as a result of the same complications that can take place after any surgery–complications like infection. This number is comparable to those newborns who die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The number is far greater than those who are killed in automobile accidents (only eight). Which do you think a parent is most likely to fear? Going out for a drive with a newborn or getting the baby a circumcision? It turns out that the latter option is the more dangerous.
The number of “actual” deaths as a result of this operation may be far greater, because most deaths aren’t reported as a result of circumcision at all. The complications are most often listed as resulting from anesthesia, blood loss, infection, or a number of other surgery-related problems. In addition, complicit doctors and hospitals are less likely to admit guilt related to the specific surgery because there is no mandate for doing so. Until there is, the numbers will remain skewed. In many cases, medical personnel will even blame the parents for not following post-surgery instructions properly.
Many times a doctor will not go out of his or her way to properly explain the potential complications of a neonatal circumcision. Sometimes a doctor simply doesn’t have the pertinent information. After all, circumcision is relatively low-risk surgery either way. Either way, doctors should explain the potential benefits of circumcision alongside the risks.
In other cases, the the infant will survive a botched circumcision. This can lead to untoward scarring, complications, or even sex change in the most extreme cases. If you believe your child’s circumcision resulted in unexpected complications, then you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss the circumstances.