Intended for healthcare professionals


Separating a septum sandwich

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 06 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:82
  1. A C Leong, ENT specialist registrar (
  1. Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, Kent

    A 7 year old boy had inquisitively removed two small circular magnets attached to the bottom of his toy car. He then inserted one up each nostril. The magnets were immediately drawn to each other, clamping firmly on to either side of his nasal septum.

    On his arrival in the accident and emergency department, various manual manoeuvres with metal instruments were attempted, but these were attracted to each magnet with a resounding “clunk,” provoking squeals of pain from the child as doctors grappled to remove the adherent instruments. Plastic instruments failed to provide sufficient grip on the slippery edges of the magnets. …

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