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Table 1 Circumcision complications of initiates assessed at four time points in percent

From: Traditional circumcision during manhood initiation rituals in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: a pre-post intervention evaluation

Medical Complication Description of Medical Complication Severity 2nd day N = 152 (%) 4th day N = 159 (%) 7th day N = 193 (%) 14th day N = 192 N(%)
Pain 3 or 4 on pain scale Mild 13.2 26.4 21.2 22 (11.5)
  5 or 6 on pain scale Moderate   5.0   
  7 on pain scale Severe     
Excessive bleeding Dressing/bandage soaked through with blood at a routine follow-up visit Mild 4.6 1.9 3.1 2 (1.0)
  Bleeding that requires a special visit by the attendant for medical attention. Moderate     
  Bleeding that requires a visit to hospital or clinic and surgical re-exploration to control Severe     
Infection Erythema (redness of skin) more than one cm beyond incision Mild 16.4 13.8 20.3 31 (16.2)
  Purulent discharge (pus) from wound Moderate    1.6  
  Cellulitis (infection spreading under the skin) or wound necrosis (gangrene or black, dead tissue) requiring hospitalization Severe     
Excessive skin removed Client concerned, but there is no discernable abnormality Mild 2.0 1.9 1.6 1 (0.5)
  Skin is tight, but additional operative work not necessary Moderate     
  Requires re-operation or transfer to a medical facility to correct the problem Severe     
Insufficient kin removed Foreskin partially covers the head only when extended Mild 13.2 14.4 17.1 20 (10.4)
  Foreskin still partially covers the head and re-operation is required to correct Moderate     
  Not applicable Severe     
Swelling or haema-toma (collection of blood) More swelling than usual, but no significant discomfort Mild 9.9 4.4 2.6 4 (2.1)
  Significant tenderness and discomfort; no surgical procedure needed or only minor surgical re-exploration required Moderate     
  Surgical re-exploration or visit to hospital or clinic required to correct Severe     
Damage to the penis Mild bruising or injury, not requiring treatment Mild     
  Bruise or injury to the head or shaft of the penis requiring pressure dressing or additional surgery to control or repair Moderate 0.6 0.6 0.5 1 (0.5)
  Portion or all of the head or shaft of the penis severed Severe     
Delayed wound healing Healing takes longer than usual, but no extra treatment necessary Mild 2.0 11.9 16.6 40 (20.8)
  Additional non-operative treatment required Moderate     
  Requires re-operation to correct or visit to clinic or hospital required Severe     
Problems with passing urine Temporary complaints that resolves without treatment Mild 1.3 1.9 2.1 2 (1.0)
  Requires special return to the clinic, but no additional treatment required Moderate     
  Requires referral to another facility for management Severe     
Dehydration Severe thirst, but passed urine in past 24 hours and no dizziness Mild 5.3 5.7 7.8 7 (3.6)
  Severe thirst, and becoming light-headed, with no urine in past 24 hours Moderate     
  No urine in past 24 hours and lost consciousness or required visit to hospital or clinic to provide fluids or to treat related medical problems, such as kidney failure Severe     
Appearance Client concerned, but no discernable abnormality Mild 2.6 3.8 0.5 1 (0.5)
  Significant wound disruption or scarring, but does not require re-operation Moderate     
  Requires re-operation Severe