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Circumcision That Didn't Heal Kills Boy

NewsNet5 - Cleveland, OH
October 20, 1998

NOTE: NewsNet5 subsequently revised its headline to:
Anesthesia Complications Killed Baby

CLEVELAND, Posted 6:46 a.m. October 20, 1998 -- A 3-week-old boy died while doctors were trying to fix a problem with his circumcision. [Note: NewsNet5 subsequently revised this first paragraph to: "Doctors say anesthesia complications killed a 3-week-old boy while doctors were trying to fix a problem with his circumcision." While anesthesia may have been the immediate cause of death, the death was secondary to complications arising from a useless circumcision that was not medically indicated.]

evansdeath.jpg (6594 bytes) A pediatrician noticed the circumcision performed on Dustin Evans two weeks ago wasn't healing properly and the urethra was blocked.

A routine surgical procedure was needed to correct the problem and clear the hole. While being administered anesthesia on Friday, the boy's heart stopped, said his father, Dustin Evans Sr., 27.

Doctors at Rainbow Babies Childrens Hospital attempted to save the baby by massaging his heart and inserting breathing tubes.

He was kept on a life-support ventilator system during the day until it was determined that his heart was healthy, but he had suffered massive brain damage.

Dustin was disconnected from life support about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"You think, 'What could go wrong with a circumcision?' " Evans said. "The next thing I know he's dead."

Hospital spokeswoman Eileen Korey said Monday she was limited in what she could say about his death. "We express the hospital's deepest condolences to the family," she said. "But in this case, as in all others, we are unable to talk about details because of confidentiality reasons."

Cuyahoga County Coroner Elizabeth Balraj said she has no autopsy findings to disclose and says the matter is still under investigation.

Denver physician Randall Clark with the American Society of Anesthesiologists says 25 percent of all anesthesia complications in children occur in those under one month old.

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