These images show the string of nearly four dozen magnetic balls removed from a boy’s bowels after he swallowed the lot and they ruptured his stomach and intestines in 10 places.
The five-year-old from Pingyang, a county in East China’s Zhejiang Province, was treated at Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University on 1st September.
According to Doctor He Guorong, head of the facility’s paediatric department, the boy showed with stomach pains and vomiting, and was first taken to a local clinic where medics ordered scans and discovered a series of high-density objects in his bowels.
He was transferred to the larger hospital where Doctor He took one look at the images and immediately recognised their silhouette as that of the magnetic ball toys known as ‘buckyballs’.
The tot was taken in surgery, and medics found that the metallic beads had perforated the poor boy’s bowels in 10 places.
Doctor He said the boy had two holes in his stomach, two in his duodenum and six in his small intestine as a result of infections brought about by the ingested magnetic toys.
Each wound was roughly 3 millimetres in size, and fortunately none of the balls wound up in the child’s abdominal cavity.
“With the help of paediatric surgeon Li Zhongrong, we three to four hours patching the 10 holes and removing the 46 buckyballs,” Doctor He said.
The boy’s parents revealed they had purchased the otherwise fun and creative toys several months ago, but they did not know when their son swallowed them.
Doctor He said that, judging by the state of his injuries, the tot likely ate them gradually over a period of time.
Yuying Children’s Hospital, which is also known as the Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, said it has already treated 15 similar patients just this summer.
Each had swallowed foreign bodies such as berry pips, needles or magnets.
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