Death of toddler after circumcision probed

NEW YORK Fri May 6, 2011 5:17pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York City Medical Examiner's office said on Friday it was investigating the case of a 2-year-old boy who died shortly after getting circumcision surgery.

Jamaal Coleson Jr. of Brooklyn died shortly after undergoing the procedure at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The city is probing the toddler's death and hopes to have test results within the next two weeks, said Medical Examiner spokeswoman Grace Brugess.

Coleson's family could not be reached for comment.

The hospital issued a statement on Friday saying it had notified state and city health agencies about the "unexpected death" and was conducting an internal review of its own.

"We extend heartfelt condolences to the family of the young patient in question," the hospital statement said. "This is a devastating event for his family as well as for the staff at Beth Israel who tried to save his life."

Circumcision, the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis, is widely practiced in many cultures, often for religious reasons. Most males circumcised in the United States undergo the procedure shortly after birth, about 1.2 million newborn males each year. Of those infants, 2 to 6 percent experience complications, usually minor bleeding and less typically shock from infection and even death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)

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