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Rare Earth Magnets removed from teen's intestine after bathroom mishap

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Rare Earth Magnets, which are tiny pea-sized magnets used in car wheel bearings and computer hard drives are causing medical emergencies when swallowed. Today these magnets are used in arts and crafts and they’re available to the general public, according to ABC News on Dec. 5

One of the latest emergency occurred in Florida when a teen, who uses the magnets to play tricks, swallowed them. Christin Rivas uses the magnets to do magic tricks, like pull a pen up the wall of a classroom from an adjacent room.

Christin had the magnets in her hands when she needed to use the ladies room. Not wanting to put the magnets on the floor of the bathroom stall, she popped them in her mouth for a minute as a safe keeping strategy.

It only took a quick joke from the person in the next stall to make Christin break out in laughter and while laughing she swallowed the magnets. Christin had read that these magnets could be deadly if swallowed and when trying to throw them up didn’t work, she went to the school clinic. The clinic called her mother and she was then on her way to emergency surgery at a local hospital.

The magnets needed to be removed surgically from Christin’s small intestine. If left alone, there was a good chance the magnets would perforate her intestines, which could be deadly.

Christin contacted the local newspaper when this was all over. She has recuperated and she’s back at school, but she wanted to share her story in hopes it would come as a warning to other kids about the dangers of these magnets.

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