Hazardous complications of multiple ingested magnets: report of four cases

Kabre, R.; Chin, A.; Rowell, E.; Browne, M.; Barsness, K. A.; Luck, S.; Jona, J.

Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Nov 22; 19(3):187-9

Abstract

Foreign body ingestion is a common occurrence in the pediatric population. Frequent culprits include coins, toys, sharp objects and bones, which most often pass spontaneously. Magnet ingestion, however, can be a serious matter, especially when more than one is taken in. The extremely strong magnetic force between multiple magnets may result in numerous complications including bowel necrosis, perforation, obstruction, fistula formation, volvulus and death. We present the largest series reported to date, with four cases of multiple magnet ingestion at our institution with varied presentations and findings. We review the literature, and discuss the importance of having a high index of suspicion.

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