J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2019 Dec;30(6):603-607. 10.0000/jksem.2019.30.6.603.

Caution warnings are required for the sale of neodymium magnets in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Ewha Womans University Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. choejy@hanmail.net

Abstract

Recent reports indicate that the number of children presenting to the emergency department after ingesting magnets has increased over the last decade. Since neodymium magnets became commercially available, reports of complications caused by their ingestion have accrued in Korea. Neodymium magnets are tens of times stronger than ordinary magnets; hence, complications associated with their ingestion are severe. These "super magnets" can be purchased without any restriction. We report the case of a healthy 4-year-old girl who ingested multiple neodymium magnets. The magnets were attached to each other, with the lower esophageal sphincter trapped between them. Endoscopic removal failed, and surgical intervention was required. Unlike ordinary magnets, endoscopic removal of neodymium magnets is difficult due to their strong attraction to each other. In order to prevent potentially tragic accidents and their subsequent surgery, a cautionary warning is essential on toys containing neodymium magnets, to inform the public of the increasingly evident dangers of these "super magnets."

Keyword

Foreign bodies; Magnets; Neodymium; Endoscopy; Child

MeSH Terms

Child
Child, Preschool
Commerce*
Eating
Emergency Service, Hospital
Endoscopy
Esophageal Sphincter, Lower
Female
Foreign Bodies
Humans
Korea*
Neodymium*
Play and Playthings
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
Neodymium
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