For a study, researchers sought to examine the clinical care and consequences of magnet ingestions in a big tertiary children’s hospital. In addition, they wanted to ascertain the relationship between the frequency of high-powered magnet intake and the regulation of these magnets.

From January 2008 to December 2020, children aged less than 18 years who presented to the emergency room and were admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for ingestion of single or multiple magnets were included. The study looked at demographics, symptoms, treatment, and results. In addition, the frequency of magnet intake was compared over three time periods: before the ban (2008-2012), during the prohibition (2013-2016), and after the ban (2017–2020).

There were 167 magnet ingestions, with 99 including multiple magnets. Most patients (59%) were male, with a median age of 6 (interquartile range, 3-9) years. Most single magnet ingestions (86%) resulted in outpatient monitoring and were released with no serious consequences. However, hospitalizations (68%), endoscopic operations (48%), surgical procedures (14%), and severe outcomes (12%), all as a result of multiple magnet ingestions, were among the major morbidities. Most patients (75%) were asymptomatic; symptoms were associated with a greater risk of surgery and serious consequences (P=0.003). With more or equal 3 magnets, the rate of surgical intervention was greater (31.7%) vs. 2 magnets (2.4%) (P<0.003). In addition, they discovered a 160% increase in kids ingesting magnets during the post-ban period (P=0.021).

Ingestion of several magnets was linked to a significant morbidity and severity rate. In addition, public policies regarding the sale of magnets and the frequency of magnet consumption were related.