3-year-old boy swallows 3 magnets, undergoes emergency surgery in Abu Dhabi hospital - GulfToday

3-year-old boy swallows 3 magnets, undergoes emergency surgery in Abu Dhabi hospital


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

A three-year-old boy underwent emergency surgery at Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital in Abu Dhabi after swallowing three magnets.

The patient was presented with his family to the hospital’s Urgent Care Unit complaining of severe abdominal pain and recurrent episodes of vomiting.

An X-ray revealed the presence of not only one, but three magnets in the abdomen, which was why Dr. Adel Al Junaibi, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, was called to see the child.

Al Junaibi took a full history and conducted a comprehensive examination and found out that the magnets were swallowed at different times which explained their different locations in the bowel.

Swallowing more than one magnet poses a greater risk to patients and therefore requires immediate surgical intervention.

The reason is that the magnets may stick strongly together, causing severe damage to the bowel wall and/or causing intestinal obstruction.

An emergency surgery was set up by the multidisciplinary team within 45 minutes of the child’s presentation to the hospital.

A laparoscopic retrieval of the magnets was successfully performed by Dr. Al Junaibi under general anaesthesia.

Al Junaibi said: “We were able to successfully extract the three magnets and restore the integrity/continuity of the bowel through a minimally invasive technique where the procedure was performed through tiny holes in the abdominal wall without the need to make long incisions.

“The magnets were scattered between the stomach and the large intestine and attracted each other, causing the intestines to twist which led to intestinal obstruction. A perforation was also starting to form in the small intestine.”

The child stayed in the hospital for a few days, was able to consume food in its solid form four days after the surgery and was then discharged in a very good condition.

Dr. Al Junaibi added: “I urge parents to be aware of foreign objects that may be swallowed accidentally by their young children and keep them out of reach.” He added: “It is important to be aware of these risks as in some cases such accidents may cause very serious complications that can be life-threatening.”

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