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Key messages from a guideline: RCEM best practice guideline—ingestion of super-strong magnets in children
  1. Vamsi Krishna Gangalam,
  2. Siba Prosad Paul
  1. Paediatrics, Yeovil District Hospital, Yeovil, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vamsi Krishna Gangalam, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Yeovil, BA21 4AT, UK; vms.krshn{at}

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The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) published a best practice guideline in 2021 for the management of children presenting with suspected ingestion of super-strong rare earth magnets (REMs).1 The guidelines highlight the importance of raising awareness of the risks associated with such ingestion and provide guidance on clinical management.1 A National Patient Safety Alert has highlighted that over a recent 3.5-year period there were 24 incidents of delay in assessment/treatment of children who presented with REM ingestion.2

Reasons identified were: unwitnessed ingestion, adopting a ‘watch and wait’ approach considered appropriate for other swallowed items, reluctance for lateral X-ray projections and abdominal X-ray (AXR) by radiology teams, and delay in surgical review/intervention.1 2

A service review by the Quadri-South East Paediatric Surgeons Group, which comprises of four tertiary paediatric surgical centres, reported that 251 children were admitted with foreign body ingestion over a 5-year period (January …

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  • Contributors VKG wrote the paper and revised subsequent drafts and correspondence. SPP provided expert opinion and helped in editing the manuscript. Both the authors have approved the uploaded draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.