June 22, 2012
Queen's Park baby bled to death two days after being circumcisedInquest hears 28-day-old tot lost three-quarters of his total blood volume
A one-month-old baby from Queen’s Park bled to death less than two days after he was circumcised, an inquest heard.
Angelo Ofori-Mintah’s operation went according to plan, but a few hours later the incision began to bleed.
Westminster Coroner’s Court heard it eventually stopped and his mother Maame Abrafi, who lives in Ashmore Road, thought he was fine.
However the following day he became cold and pale and was rushed to hospital with dangerously low oxygen levels.
He suffered a cardiac arrest and died in the early hours of February 17.
Tests revealed he had lost about three-quarters of his total blood volume and died as a result of an acute haemorrhage due to circumcision.
The inquest heard Mrs Abrafi had received clear aftercare instructions from Rabbi Mordehai Cohen, who carried out the procedure.
The qualified practitioner gave her a printed guide which included his contact details in case of emergency.
He also explained that she was to leave the bandage on for 24 hours ‘at all costs’.
But realising her 28-day-old son was bleeding, the court heard, Mrs Abrafi who is originally from Ghana, removed it within nine hours.
She was unable to call the Rabbi because she did not have enough phone credit so texted a friend who contacted him for her.
The friend said the Rabbi had suggested applying petroleum jelly but as she hadn’t seen the baby she was relying on Mrs Abrafi’s description.
This created a ‘tragic break-down in communication’ said Deputy Coroner Shirley Radcliffe, which left Rabbi Cohen unaware of the full circumstances.
Rabbi Cohen was entirely blameless for the tragedy.
Directing her comments to Mrs Abrafi, Mrs Radcliffe said: “This is simply a tragic accident, an unforeseen consequence of the surgical procedure that this baby undertook.
[What's unforseen? "If you cut me, do I not bleed?" The baby didn't "undertake" anything. The "undertaking" was entirely by misguided adults - then by the undertaker.]
“My deepest condolences.”
Verdict: Accidental death.