On Friday morning Lia came back home from her gan (kindergarten class) with a chain made of magnetic beads a friend gave her. “Suddenly she told me, ”I swallowed I swallowed” but we weren’t sure what she meant”, relates Lia’s mother. “We figured out that she was talking about the chain of magnetic beads she brought home and I realized this could be dangerous.”
Within a few minutes she was taking her daughter to the hospital to see what needed to be done and she also called up the poison control center and her pediatrician. The hospital x rays showed only 7 beads probably because they stuck together. They recommended eating and drinking and letting the beads pass out of the body naturally.
The mother was uncomfortable with the advice and went to the Schneider’s Children’s Hospital where she stubbornly insisted a gastro doctor see Lia. A top doctor in Gastroenterology, Dr. Ari Silbermintz gave her general anesthesia and conducted a gastro scope checkup when she was asleep. He found the magnets and gently slipped them back out. She went home afterwards without needing surgery.
The Doctor explained that this was more serious than you would think. Since this was a chain of magnets there was always a chance that the chain would wrap around part of the intestine and cut off its blood supply. That would cause atrophy of that part and ultimately amputation.
He added “Unfortunately it is very common that children swallow foreign objects. However ingesting magnets, especially earth magnets which are very strong, can be life threatening.