NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A common household item is at the center of a medical mystery on Long Island. Kyle Agnew, 5, got himself into a very dangerous situation with a set of magnets.
Kyle told doctors he was fascinated by a set of household magnets and wanted to find out what they tasted like. He got more than he bargained for and found himself stuck in the hospital.
Kyle Agnew is back on the fast track racing his favorite toys, but his playful curiosity nearly cost him his life.
For several days Kyle had been suffering from severe flu-like symptoms. After multiple tests his pediatrician and parents were convinced it was a virus.
“The strep test and the urinalysis, everything came back negative. He didn’t have a fever. Why was he throwing up?” Kyle’s mother, Lauren Agnew said.
When Kyle started vomiting green bile, his parents rushed him to the hospital, where X-rays revealed the shocking culprit.
Kyle swallowed 6 tiny flat magnets. His mother uses them to post paper on this metal message strip. Each one, though smaller than a dime, is very strong.
Stony Brook University Medical Center pediatric surgeon Dr. Thomas Lee said two stacks of three magnets were lodged in separate parts of the intestine. They clung together on opposite sides of the intestine walls, making it appear on the X-ray like a single stack of 6.
“The magnets would pinch them together and the pinching action is so tight that it erodes through the wall,” Lee said.
“Basically if we would have waited any longer, there would have been internal bleeding, and it could have been a lot more serious,” Kyle’s father, David Agnew, said.
Children ingesting foreign objects is a common occurrence. Stony Brook Medical Center said it has a few cases a month, but it’s especially prevalent during the holidays with many toys containing small parts including magnets.
Kyle advised other kids “not to do it” because “they might have to go to the hospital.”
Dr. Lee said most objects swallowed accidentally by children will pass through their system with no harm, but magnets can cause a very serious medical condition.
The Agnews urged parents to pay attention to their children health complaints. They acted immediately and thankfully Kyle is doing great.
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