November 15, 2018
Mineola, NY – Two separate but nearly identical lawsuits filed in Nassau County, NY, allege that two boys have suffered partial penile glans amputations during circumcisions at the same hospital allegedly by the same doctor. The incidents allegedly occurred at North Shore University Hospital in 2013 and 2018. Both circumcisions were allegedly conducted by Dr. Aaron Davidson.
In both cases the amputated tissue is said to have been negligently discarded.
Damages of $7.5m in 2007 and $11m in 2010 were awarded against a New York manufacturer, subsequently closed, of the Mogen clamp. Pennsylvania manufacturers of the clamp were sued in a lawsuit commenced in 2015 for a similar amputation injury.
The defendant testified in a sworn deposition that he prefers the Mogen clamp, a controversial device. The dangers of penile injury with Mogen-style clamps are well-documented. The device lacks any safety mechanism to prevent portions of the glans from being trapped and amputated. Indeed, reports of injuries prompted the FDA to issue a warning about the device in August 2000.
In an interview, Dr. George C. Denniston, MD, MPH, President of Doctors Opposing Circumcision, said, “Given the existing –and increasing– evidence that the Mogen clamp is dangerous, our physicians’ group wonders when doctors and hospitals will start putting the safety of child-patients first.”
Denniston notes, “Penile injuries are life-long as well as physically and psychologically devastating for the victim. The claim that such injuries are rare lacks credibility, particularly given inadequate reporting and sealed settlements by both doctors and hospitals. A recent Utah study puts the circumcision injury rate at 11.5%.”
In the Nassau County cases, the amputated tissue allegedly was not salvaged and the fate of the medical clamps is unknown. The doctor’s deposition testimony reveals that it would be impossible to identify the exact device used in 2013. This suggests both that this particular clamp was re-used without independent verification of its safety and it was not preserved as evidence.
The Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990 (SDMA) requires hospitals and other user facilities to report serious injuries associated with the use of medical devices. It is hoped that these two incidents have been reported to the FDA.
At a minimum, any adverse events from a circumcision should involve removal of the device from service until the family has had an opportunity to seek legal advice.
Added Dr. Denniston, “These two cases, both involving a doctor trained at the hospital where the injuries are alleged to have occurred, put the hospital’s system of risk management and protection of children in serious question.”
For more news on these cases see: https://nypost.com/2018/11/02/mom-claims-doctor-botched-newborn-sons-circumcision/