Ingestion of rare-earth magnet beads in children has been a public health concern. The potential risk of swallowing multiple magnets is related to magnet attraction to each other, resulting in serious gastrointestinal complications, such as entero-enteric fistula formation, peritonitis, bowel ischemia or necrosis, bowel perforation, and potentially death. We describe the clinical outcome of a 10-year-old child with a liver-small bowel-pancreas transplant who swallowed 26 rare-earth magnetic beads. The patient presented with fever and abdominal pain. Due to difficulty locating the magnets and post-surgical anatomy changes, only 25 magnets were removed endoscopically. After the procedure, she continued to have abdominal distention and fever, leading to further investigation and subsequently an exploratory laparotomy, which confirmed a walled-off perforation. She was treated conservatively with bowel rest and antibiotics, without the need for small bowel graft resection. She recovered well and was eventually discharged on her home enteral feeding regimen. This case emphasizes the importance of taking a good history and having a high index of suspicion to diagnose this dangerous clinical condition, especially in children with an associated predisposing condition for foreign body ingestion, such as developmental delay. Early diagnosis of multiple magnet bead ingestion and prompt detection of its complications in pediatric intestinal transplant recipients could help initiate appropriate intervention and prevent intestinal graft loss.
- intestinal transplant
- magnet ingestion
- rare-earth magnet bead
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health