Magnet ingestion –urgent removal needed

This month’s Gastroenterology has an interesting picture of magnet(s) ingestion (Gastroenterology 2012; 142: 701, 1044).  This case report describes an ingestion by a 3-year-old boy who had swallowed 5 ball-shaped magnets.  The authors considered this an emergency even though it appeared that all 5 balls were in the stomach. As it turns out, a gastric mucosa fold was trapped in between the balls.  By taking the child for emergency removal, the authors averted a gastric perforation.

When multiple magnets are ingested, they may attract each other and cause pressure and subsequent damage. Magnet ingestion has become an important ingestion with case reports that have even included a death secondary to sepsis as well as perforations, fistulas, and volvulus.  Due to the potential for severe harm, they should be retrieved when possible ASAP.

Additional references:

3 thoughts on “Magnet ingestion –urgent removal needed

  1. Pingback: Magnets: Clear and Present Danger | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Magnetic Foreign Bodies –Still a Problem | gutsandgrowth

  3. Pingback: NASPGHAN Statement on High-Powered Magnet Court Ruling | gutsandgrowth

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