Doctors, beware the laws of attraction

The three-year-old Oregon girl swallowed 37 earth magnet beads, forming a bracelet-like image seen on X-ray.

US KPTV reported the magnets snapped the girl’s intestines together, punched a hole in her stomach and three holes in her intestine but she will make a full recovery after surgery.

Meanwhile, endoscopists in Canada have just published the case of a three-year-old boy, illustrating the problem that unlike other small ingested objects magnets pose such a risk to the intestines that nature cannot be left to take its course.

The boy was asymptomatic on presentation though an X-ray revealed a “string-like formation” of magnetic balls in his stomach.

“Physicians need to be aware that ingestion of multiple magnetic beads can lead to severe harm,” the authors said, in a report entitled Ingested Magnets: Catch or Let Go?

“This is in contrast with other foreign bodies – including