Medcare Hospital Saves Toddler who Ingested Magnets 

Medcare Women & Children Hospital has treated a one-year-old who suffered from intestinal perforation after accidentally swallowing eight magnetic balls.

Following intensive care and three successful surgeries, a one-year-old child has been discharged from Medcare Women & Children Hospital in Dubai, after suffering from complications of ingesting magnets.

Salma, daughter of Jordanian expatriates Huda Omar Mosbah Qasim and Maher Shaikh Yasin, had been admitted in October with high fever and severe vomiting. Upon medical investigations, it was discovered that the one-year-old had accidentally ingested eight magnetic balls which had lined her abdomen and caused intestinal perforation.

Although surgery was done immediately to remove the foreign bodies, Salma had already gone into septic shock and showed signs of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a condition in which blood clots form throughout the body, blocking small blood vessels. After a week, a second surgery had to be performed to manage the perforation that had occurred as a result of the magnets having lined her abdominal walls for a while.

“The perforation had worsened her condition significantly, and the paediatric Intensive Care Unit continued to give optimal medical care and support to stabilise her health. We as a team are very proud of how Salma’s treatment was managed. The outcome of bringing her back to full health is truly impressive as it was a very hard and complicated case,” said Dr Dima Tarsha, specialist paediatrician at Medcare Women & Children Hospital.Medcare Hospital Saves Toddler who Ingested Magnets 

With her poor condition of intestines and colon, Salma had to go through a third surgery to remove adhesions and fistula formation between the intestines and abdominal wall.

“Salma was in our intensive care unit, where we managed her diet with fasting for few weeks and supporting her with parenteral feeding and medications until she improved enough to gradually start her on a diet of regular food. We are grateful for the team of doctors and nurses in the paediatrics department as well as the MWCH PICU and the Operating Theater teams who joined hands to make this recovery possible,” said Dr. Mazen Salowm, specialist paediatrician at Medcare Women & Children Hospital.

Salma was discharged home after two months of intensive care and surviving three surgeries that helped her recover from many medical complications.

It is not uncommon for infants and young children to ingest hazardous items like a shiny coin, small battery or colourful toy. While we can prevent this by keeping potential ingestion hazards away from young children out of reach, we cannot fully control this. Benign items will usually work their way out, but call your doctor with any concerns, especially if you notice symptoms like coughing, gagging, trouble swallowing, drooling, chest and stomach pain, vomiting and constipation.

If your child swallows a sharp or large piece of a toy, it is best to call your paediatrician and visit the emergency room for evaluation. Items like batteries, magnets and coins are hazardous when ingested and need a doctor’s immediate attention.

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