A few months ago one unfortunate couple made a purchase they’ll likely regret for the rest of their lives: a bag of magnets. They were shopping near their hometown and came across some high-powered magnets that could be used to form various shapes. The couple bought them for a little amusement. When they got home they made sure to put the toys away on an upper shelf. Apparently the shelf was not high enough to keep their young son, 2-year-old Braylon, away. He found the bag of magnets and ended up swallowing eight of them.
Rather than just simply passing the round balls, they magnets fused together and, in the process, wreaked havoc on the digestive tract of the little boy. The high-powered magnets attached to each other and, in doing so, twisted and ultimately perforated the boy’s intestines.
Since the terrible accident the child has been in the hospital. Most of the time was spent in the ICU given the severity of his injuries. Braylon has had six surgeries, developed a blood infection and had to be fully sedated for three weeks. Though he’s scheduled to leave the hospital soon, he’ll have to return for additional surgeries. He’s currently scheduled to get an intestinal transplant due to the amount of tissue that had to be removed in his previous surgeries.
Shockingly, given the horrible damage inflicted on Braylon and others just like him, there has not yet been a thorough study of the impact of magnets ingested by children. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has said that since 2008 it has received some 200 reports of similar incidents involving children and high-powered magnets.
As a result, one of the doctors that worked with Braylon, Dr. Adam Noel, decided to conduct a survey of his own. Dr. Noel polled a group of pediatric gastroenterologists for their thoughts on the issue. The 33 physicians who responded to his survey said that they have seen a total of 82 young patients who have swallowed magnets. Sadly, the vast majority of these children suffered life-threatening bowel perforations.
Dr. Noel and a group of other concerned doctors will be meeting with officials from the CPSC to discuss ways to ensure that additional children don’t suffer from similar accidents. The companies that make the toys insist that their products are perfectly safe if used per the instructions. Doctors disagree, pointing out that children can then easily get ahold of the magnets and, possibly mistaking them for candy, swallow them; unaware of the danger they are placing themselves in.
For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, contact one of our experienced Pennsylvania injury attorneys today for a free consultation at (267) 809-8250.
Source: “Powerful magnets in toys raise risks from swallowing,” by Elizabeth Cohen, published at CNN.com.
See Our Related Blog Posts:
Carnival Rides Caused 4 Deaths in the U.S. in 2007
Philadelphia Verdict in Death from Infant Tylenol Upheld