March 5, 2012
Child Swallows 37 Buckyball Magnets
A three-year-old child had to undergo invasive surgery recently after eating 37 Buckyball magnets, just months after a warning was issued on their danger to children.
Doctors performed an X-ray last Friday after the child's parents took her in for what they thought were symptoms of the stomach flu, according to a Huffington Post report.
The doctors found that Payton Bushnell had swallowed 37 high-powered Buckyball magnets, ripping holes in her lower intestine and stomach.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned in a November 12, 2011 press release that it had already received 14 reports of problems related to these types of magnets.
The agency said that when two or more of the magnets are swallowed, they can become connected and cause serious injuries.
“We want parents to be aware of the danger associated with these innocent looking magnets,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a statement. “The potential for serious injury and death if multiple magnets are swallowed demands that parents and medical professionals be aware of this hidden hazard and know how to treat a child in distress.”
The agency said in 2011 that there had been twice as many reported lately than what they had for all of 2010, and up from just a single incident in 2009.
The CPSC advises that all small magnets, including the high-powered ball-bearing style ones, be kept away from any young children who could swallow them.
Payton Bushnell is on her way to full recovery, but doctors said if they had not conducted a routine X-ray, she could have died. Her symptoms included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The number of magnets Bushnell swallowed far-exceeded one doctor's experience with what she has seen a child swallow.
"In all the research I have done, I have never seen any child swallow more than 10 magnets," Sandy Nipper, R.N., from Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel's Safety Store, told KPTV.
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