While circumcision rates have fallen to around 32% in Canada, it didn’t stop Ryan Heydari’s doctor from convincing his parents that the procedure was the right thing for their baby.
And it is a decision that Iranian immigrants Homa Ahmadi and John Heydari will never be able to erase from their mind.
At 22 days-old this couple’s beautiful baby boy tragically bled to death following his circumcision-a procedure which was once common practice at the birth of Canadians baby boys.
According to a report in Canada’s National Post newspaper, Ahmadi says she and her husband knew almost immediately after their son’s procedure that something was seriously wrong. The previously unfussy baby “was crying so much, so hard, and he wouldn’t stop,” his mother recalled. “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.”
The horror story took place in the province of Ontario, home to Canada’s largest city and capital, and many of the countries best doctors. The case originally remained untold as the Ontario College of Physician and Surgeons ruling on the case was initially to be kept secret.
Baby Ryan’s parents appealed this decision, and have now brought their story to the public’s eye, in the hope that they can shed light on the issue.
“The loss of Ryan, our only child, has made us realize that we can’t possess anything, even our hopes and dreams,” Ahmadi is reported as saying. “We hope that this never happens to any other baby.”
Pathologists said the newborn succumbed to “hypovolemic shock” as he lost 35-40% of his blood due to the bleeding from the circumcision.
The doctors involved in the case have been cautioned by the Ontario College of Physician and Surgeons. They are still practicing.
The Canadian Pediatric Society stated that bleeding to death following a circumcision is extremely rare, but not something that never happens. In Canada, a newborn boy died in the province of British Columbia from the same complications, in 2003.
Why circumcise? Circumcision is believed to decrease the occurrence of urinary tract infections in childhood, the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and the chance of developing rare penile cancer later in life. However, it is a practice that the Canadian Pediatric Association does not recommend for all newborn boys.
The American Pediatric Association states on their website that they believe the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but that the benefits are not “great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision.”
To circumcise or not is every parent’s individual decision. In this particular case with such a tragic and unnecessary outcome, it seems that the doctors involved in this case should be held accountable to a greater degree, and the details of the case reviewed to see how the same scenario can be prevented from happening ever again.
The Canadian Pediatric Association states that an uncircumcised penis is easy to keep clean and requires no specific, special care.
In order to keep clean, the association recommends the following measures:
- Keep your baby’s penis clean by gently washing the area during his bath. Do not try to pull back the foreskin. Never force it.
- When your son is old enough, teach him to keep his penis clean as you’re teaching him how to keep the rest of his body clean.
- When the foreskin separates, skin cells will be shed and new ones will develop to replace them. These dead skin cells will work their way down the penis through the tip of the foreskin and may look like white, cheesy lumps. These are called smegma. If you see them under the skin, you don’t need to force them out. Just wipe them away once they come out.
- When the foreskin is fully retractable, teach your son to wash underneath it each day.