Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

A Boy, Two Magnets -- and a Trip to the ER

A Boy, Two Magnets -- and a Trip to the ER

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Proving yet again that kids will try almost anything when you're not watching, one European 11-year-old wedged two small magnetized disks up his nostrils -- causing serious medical issues, his doctors report.

The unnamed child from Cyprus was brought to a hospital six hours later with a nosebleed and "severe pain," the physicians wrote in the Oct. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Examination of the nasal cavity showed mucus and crusted blood," said Drs. Kadir Kazikdas and Mehmet Dirik, of Near East University in Nicosia.

What's worse, the two magnets were attracted to each other across the nasal cavity. That meant they were compressing tissue which in time could lead to tissue death and even perforation of the septum.

The magnets were so powerfully attracted that attempts by ER doctors to remove them didn't work. So the boy "was taken to the operating room for removal of the magnets while he was under general anesthesia," the physicians wrote.

Fighting fire with fire, doctors then decided to use other magnets -- placed outside the nose -- to counteract the pull the internal magnets had on each other. Their plan worked, and the magnets were finally removed.

The child suffered damage to his nasal cartilage and had to wear special splints for 10 days, but his nose eventually recovered, the doctors reported.

Two U.S. experts said kids will sometimes eat or insert into their bodies dangerous foreign objects, so the case was not surprising. Ingesting magnets is rare, said Dr. Jim Dwyer, but it does happen.

Magnets "can cause serious injury and potentially life-threatening complications," said Dwyer, who directs emergency medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital, in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

"When more than one magnet is ingested, or one magnet with one or more other metallic objects, they can stick together across different parts of the digestive system causing obstruction or perforation," he said.

Dr. Michael Grosso, chair of pediatrics at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y., agreed. He added that swallowing magnets can lead to even more severe effects.

"While swallowing a single magnet is essentially harmless, two or more magnets may pass into the intestinal tract at the same time," he said. "If one is ahead of another, these may become attracted with bowel lining between them, running the risk of severe injury, perforation and, ultimately, infection in the form of peritonitis."

His advice: "Parents need to be aware of these risks and make efforts to keep small magnets entirely out of reach from younger children, who might otherwise decide to swallow them, or place them in any other body cavity," Grosso said.

More information

There's more on keeping kids from ingesting foreign objects at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.

SOURCES: Jim Dwyer, M.D., chief, emergency medicine, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, N.Y.; Michael Grosso, M.D., chair, pediatrics, and chief medical officer, Huntington Hospital, Huntington, N.Y.; Oct. 26, 2017, New England Journal of Medicine

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Health Tips
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Medicines Rising on College Campuses
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
How Old Is "Old Enough" for Contacts?
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work
Parenting Déjà vu: Raising Your Grandchildren
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking About Sex with Your Teen
Treating Minor Childhood Injuries
Diseases & Conditions
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bites and Stings
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Cuts and Wounds of the External Ear
Cuts and Wounds of the Mouth and Lips
Discipline
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Eye Safety and First Aid
Firearms
First Aid for Poisonings
First-Aid for the Eyes
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Home Page - Burns
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Insect Stings in Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Minor Injuries Overview
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscle and Joint Injuries
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Skin Injury in Children
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Tick Bite Diseases
Treatment for Human Bites
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.