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Warning issued over magnetic tongue stud

12th December 2012

Teenagers and children are being warned of the danger of wearing a magnetic tongue stud which can cause serious problems if swallowed.

Teenager1

The magnetic stud, which gives the appearance of a tongue piercing, can cause perforation of the bowel if it is swallowed and sticks together inside the intestine.

A head teacher has written to parents after discovering pupils were making their own magnetic studs out of ball bearings and magnetic earrings.

Kevin Hogan of St Matthew's Roman Catholic High School wrote in a letter: "We have spoken to all pupils about this matter and warned them of the potentially harmful consequences of swallowing these magnets."

"If your child has accidentally swallowed one or more of these balls you should seek medical advice immediately." 

Dr Anil Thomas George and Dr Sandeep Motiwale, of Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, wrote a letter to The Lancet, which said medics should speak to parents about the risks of the magnets.

They stated that two children in the East Midlands needed to have surgery after they swallowed magnets.

They wrote: "Parents need to be alerted to the potential risk of silent bowel perforation and fistulation from accidental ingestion of magnets in children."

"A solitary ingested magnet can pass through the gut spontaneously. However, ingestion of multiple magnets or a single magnet along with another metallic part can cause them to stick to each other with forces of up to 1,300G [gauss], compressing the intervening bowel and leading to subsequent fistulation and perforation." 

 

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