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Management of Ingested Magnets in Children

Hussain, Sunny Z.*; Bousvaros, Athos; Gilger, Mark; Mamula, Petar§; Gupta, Sandeep||; Kramer, Robert; Noel, R. Adam#

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: September 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 239–242
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182687be0
Rapid Communications

ABSTRACT We describe a comprehensive algorithm for the management of ingested rare-earth magnets in children. These newer and smaller neodymium magnets sold as adult toys are much stronger than the traditional magnets, and can attract each other with formidable forces. If >1 magnet is swallowed at the same time, or a magnet is co-ingested with another metallic object, the loops of intestine can be squeezed between them resulting in bowel damage including perforations. An algorithm that uses the number of magnets ingested, location of magnets, and the timing of ingestion before intervention helps to delineate the roles of the pediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons in the management of these cases.

*WK Pediatric Gastroenterology & Research, Shreveport, LA

Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX

§Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

||Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN

The Children's Hospital, Aurora, CO

#Louisiana State University Health Science Center, Children's Hospital, New Orleans, LA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to R. Adam Noel, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, Children's Hospital of New Orleans, 200 Henry Clay Ave, Suite 2312, New Orleans, LA 70118 (e-mail:

Received 22 June, 2012

Accepted 6 July, 2012

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2012 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN