A 2.5-year-old infant girl who complained to her parents of strong stomach pains was brought late Tuesday night to the emergency room of the Dana Children's Hospital in Tel Aviv.
Upon arriving, the parents related how they tried to feed their daughter and put her to bed, but as time passed and the girl's pain and crying did not subside, they realized she had to be brought for emergency care.
The infant was immediately sent for an x-ray on her stomach, which revealed a foreign magnetic metal object in her upper stomach. Apparently the girl had swallowed the six centimeter (just over 2 inches) object whole.
Dr. Shlomi Cohen, sub-Director of the Gastrointestinal Unit for Children at the hospital, recalled the course of events on Wednesday.
"On receiving the results of the x-ray, I was called from my home to return directly to the emergency room. When she (the infant) was under complete anesthetization, we did an endoscopy of the upper digestive tract and I extracted from there 11 round magnets attached to each other lengthwise," stated Cohen.
The magnets that were in the infant's stomach Jenny Yerushalmi
The doctor added "the girl is doing well, and was already released home this morning."
Dr. Cohen warned of the danger inherent in such incidents, saying "because of the length of the connected magnets that were attached into one unit - it could have gotten stuck in the respiratory system or the digestive system."
"The greater danger is that the magnets could have gotten stuck to the two sides of the intestines and created a closure, causing local necrosis. Parents need to be sure to keep objects like this away from the hands of children," concluded the doctor.