NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you’re planning on buying a gift for a child or adult one Texas doctor suggests you avoid items with high-powered magnets.
Doctor Mark Gilger at Baylor College of Medicine explained that while it’s easy to understand how small children could swallow magnets, the products can also be a danger to teenagers.
“What we’re finding is [that] much, much older children are using these magnets for jewelry,” he said. “They’re mimicking piercings of the tongue and piercings of the lip and you can only guess how easy it is to swallow once you do that sort of thing.”
The most popular high-powered magnets are usually sold in sets and are often round in shape… think paperweight or office desk toy.
Doctor Gilger actually did a study that revealed 480 documented cases of kids swallowing the magnets, over the past decade. He says for many the end result was major surgery. “Within 24, 48 hours they start to show signs of bowel obstruction and abdominal pain and perhaps vomiting. And then if left longer they’ll have fever and eventually the bowel contents will start to leak through a perforation and then we’ve got a situation called sepsis — which is a serious infection.”
Gilger said 16-percent of the patients had to have part of their bowel removed, because of injury to the intestine.
Obviously swallowing a metal object is dangerous, but in these cases the swallowed magnets attempt to with each other inside the body. The connected magnets then have difficulty traveling through the body and can tear holes in the stomach or intestines.
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