Report: Doctors Remove 36 Magnetic Balls From Toddler’s Stomach

July 26, 2019 Updated: July 26, 2019

A Chinese toddler was rushed to a hospital after experiencing stomach pain, a fever, and vomiting.

Later, it was revealed that the unnamed girl ingested 36 magnetic balls, which then attached to each other and formed a ring, Fox News reported on July 26.

What’s more, the objects caused two holes in her intestine.

The 1-year-old girl went to Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province after she had gone to a local clinic.

Dr. Lin Xiaokun said that the girl swallowed the magnetic balls one by one. As a result, “it was not easy to notice for the family,” he explained.

“Because of the magnetic power, all the swallowed balls attached and damaged the intestine,” Xiaokun said, according to Fox News. “Especially when balls attached between intestines. It will cause anabrosis in the intestines. That’s why there are two holes in the girl’s intestines.”

He said that after an hour-long operation, the magnetic objects were removed. The girl is reportedly still recovering.

In another incident in China this month, a 1-year-old Chinese child was hospitalized after swallowing 10 magnetic balls which attached to each other in his stomach, it was reported.

The mother of the boy saw him clutching his stomach in agony and vomiting before she rushed him to a hospital, The Mirror reported. The incident took place in China’s Shandong Province.

Dr. Zhang Zhengmao found 10 magnetic balls inside his stomach that were attached to one another in a circle.

The boy’s intestines were perforated. They were forced to immediately operate and found four injured areas.

In the procedure, surgeons were able to remove the magnetic items.

“This kind of tiny magnetic ball is quite dangerous for [a] kid because it has strong magnetic power,” the doctor was quoted by the paper as saying. “If a child eats just one ball then he can excrete [it] easily, but usually kids eat several balls which attach in a shape, damaging the stomach and intestines.”

The boy is now recovering after the surgery.

His mother reportedly said, “It was my fault to buy this dangerous toy for him and not notice him eating them.”

It’s not clear what kind of magnetic balls the child had swallowed, but there are a number of magnetic ball toys.

Hidden Danger

The case highlights the fact that more and more young children are being admitted into emergency rooms across because they have swallowed batteries, toys, coins, and other items, according to a new study.

One researcher, Dr. Danielle Orsagh-Yentis, the lead author and a gastrointestinal physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, said that an increasing number of products have button-sized batteries such as TV remotes, digital thermometers, and remote-controlled toys, according to The Associated Press.

In 2015, there were 43,000 ER visits among children under the age of 6 in the United States. In 1995, there were 22,000, according to a study published in mid-April in the journal Pediatrics, CBS News reported.

closeup photo of a button battery
File photo of a small battery, similar to the one that killed Francesca Asan, who died in May 2016 after swallowing a button battery. (CC0/Pixabay)

The rate increased from about 10 per 10,000 ER visits to 18 per 10,000 visits, CBS noted.

Small high-powered magnets are among the most dangerous objects for children, according to one expert, as they can pinch together inside intestines and cause internal damage. They can even create holes, leading to blood poisoning.

“They can go through the esophagus into the stomach and GI [gastrointestinal] tract,” Dr. Amyna Husain, a pediatric emergency medicine physician, told CBS.

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