This work was performed at the Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Upper aerodigestive magnetic foreign bodies in children
Article first published online: 3 JAN 2014
© 2014 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 124, Issue 6, pages 1481–1485, June 2014
How to Cite
Brown, J. C., Baik, F. M., Ou, H. C., Otjen, J. P., Parish, H. G. and Chan, D. K. (2014), Upper aerodigestive magnetic foreign bodies in children. The Laryngoscope, 124: 1481–1485. doi: 10.1002/lary.24489
The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Issue published online: 27 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 3 JAN 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 31 OCT 2013 07:25AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 18 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 AUG 2013
- foreign body/foreign bodies;
Small, powerful magnets are increasingly available in toys and other products, and are responsible for increasing numbers of foreign body injuries in children. Small, spherical, neodymium magnets available since 2008 are of particular concern. We aimed to identify all cases of upper aerodigestive foreign bodies at our institution over 15.5 years of study.
Case series including all patients treated at an urban, tertiary care children's hospital who had upper aerodigestive magnetic foreign bodies, from January 1, 1998 through April 30, 2013.
We manually reviewed 7,049 patient records abstracted from billing data to identify all patients 0 to 20 years of age who had upper aerodigestive magnetic foreign bodies.
We identified four cases of upper aerodigestive magnetic foreign bodies, one involving the hypopharynx, and three involving the upper esophagus. Three occurred in 2010 or later. Two cases involve the ingestion of multiple, spherical, neodymium magnets recently marketed as desktop toys. In both of these cases, there was a rapid development of mucosal injury at the site of attraction between two magnets.
As small, powerful magnets become more ubiquitous, pediatric magnet foreign body injuries are increasing. Although most are gastrointestinal, we identified four recent cases involving the upper aerodigestive tract. Multiple magnets lodged in the hypopharynx or esophagus can rapidly cause pressure necrosis of mucosal tissues, and merit prompt management. Education regarding magnet safety and improved magnet safety standards are needed to reduce the risk of these injuries.
Level of Evidence
4. Laryngoscope, 124:1481–1485, 2014