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Piercing issue: a 10-year single-centre experience of magnet ingestion in children
  1. Michael John,
  2. Guy Stern,
  3. Fraser Cameron,
  4. Riyad Peeraully,
  5. Manoj Shenoy
  1. Dept of Paediatric Surgery, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Michael John, Dept of Paediatric Surgery, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; mpjohn82{at}

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Accidental ingestion of one or more magnets is increasingly seen in children presenting to the emergency department. Outcomes can range from uneventful passage to laparotomy and potentially significant morbidity.

Since 2011, when we first published our case experience,1 we have noted an increasing frequency of presentations and, similar to other UK centres, are witnessing older children accidentally ingesting newer, more powerful neodymium magnets when trying to recreate a facial piercing.2

We retrospectively reviewed case notes of all patients <18 years old referred to our hospital between January 2010 and December 2020 who had swallowed one or more magnets.

Confirmed magnet ingestions were identified in 85; 54 (64%) were referred to our paediatric surgical team. Forty-seven (87%) had ingested multiple magnets, 38 of whom (81%) were managed conservatively. Nineteen (40%) were admitted, with …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.