Medcare Hospital Warns Parents about Children Ingesting Hazardous Materials


Medcare Women & Children Hospital has treated two toddlers in the span of just two weeks, who were admitted under emergency care for accidentally ingesting magnets. 

Dubai: Only a week after discharging a one-year-old who suffered from intestinal perforation after accidentally swallowing eight magnetic balls, Medcare Women & Children Hospital performed immediate surgery to save another toddler who accidentally ingested 46 magnets. 

Ingestion of a harmful substance is among the most common causes of injury to children less than six years of age. In most cases, the ingested agent has minimal or no clinically important toxic effect. Occasionally, however, such ingestion can be life-threatening. Ingested magnets are a serious health hazard for children, with an extremely high risk of intestinal obstruction and perforation as loops of bowel may be trapped between multiple magnets.

Although preventive measures have been successful in reducing the frequency and severity of poisoning in children, admissions for these cases continue to occur and require strategies for treatment and prevention that are safe and effective.

Dr. Dima Tarsha, Specialist Paediatrician at MWCH, warns, “Children are naturally curious. Many common household products, and more recently holiday decorations, come in brightly coloured packaging that a child may not be able to discern from candy or other treats.”

Common toxic substances that are accidentally ingested include cleaning supplies, cosmetics, medications, pesticides, and alcohol. Some children may not have any initial symptoms, while others may have varying degrees of nausea and vomiting, fever, hypothermia, high or low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures and even coma. 

“Symptoms of toxic ingestion depend on the type of substance and how much of it the child has consumed. So, it is equally important to watch out for these symptoms in your child, in the chance that you have not seen the child consume the hazardous substance.”

Treatment in these cases often includes intensive care and surgery to relieve children from the complications of ingesting toxic items, like high fever, severe vomiting, intestinal perforation, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), adhesions, fistula formation, and septic shock. 

“At Medcare Women & Children Hospital, we’re committed to kids’ safety. We have specialists available to help children that have swallowed potentially hazardous substances in the home. With such dangerous cases coming in more frequently, it is significant to remind and urge parents to keep items such as magnets and battery cells away from the reach of their children, so they’re able to keep their children out of the emergency room,” Dr. Mazen Salowm, Specialist Paediatric Surgeon said.

MWCH follows a patient-centred model of treatment. By putting the patient first, the hospital brings together all resources to meet the child’s needs. Critical care physicians work with nurses, respiratory care therapists and others to ensure the best and most innovative treatment is available for each child at a moment’s notice.

About Medcare: 

Medcare is the premium private healthcare provider under the parent group, Aster DM Healthcare. Operating leading state-of-the-art Hospitals, including Medcare Multi-specialty Hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, Medcare Women & Children Hospital, Medcare Orthopedics and Spine Hospital (MOSH), and 15 medical centres in the UAE, Medcare has established a strong presence in the UAE. 

Medcare is dedicated to offer premium integrated health services in accordance with the highest quality. From talent to technology to facilities and treatment, Medcare maintains the highest possible standards in healthcare delivery. All Medcare hospitals and medical centres are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), which is considered the gold standard in global healthcare. Apart from this, Medcare facilities have won several certifications. 

What sets Medcare apart is its exceptional multi-cultural, multi-lingual team of doctors who have received extensive training from some of the top-notch medical institutes around the world. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the Medcare team provides optimal, guideline-based treatment to patients, with the support of trained nurses, dieticians, rehabilitation therapists and technologists. Living by its simple promise “We’ll Treat You Well”, Medcare’s team is fully committed to providing high quality, personalized medical care to every patient.