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Dr Rice and colleagues (March 2005 JRSM1) describe a case in which small disc magnets proved very difficult to remove from a child's penis. We have met with a similar case affecting the nasal septum.2
A man of 37 was part of the cast of a pantomime and was wearing costume earrings with magnetic clips, one in each nostril. During the performance he sustained a knock that broke the ornament from both clips simultaneously. The magnetic clips were then attracted to each other and lodged on either side of the septum, in exactly opposite positions. He attended ENT outpatients just over 24 hours later and, under the microsope, the magnetic discs were eased apart. Like Rice and co-workers we employed a shearing movement, using nasal dressing forceps to shift the two magnets perpendicular to the force of attraction. This was performed without much difficulty. The underlying nasal septal mucosa had been eroded on both sides of the septum and both magnets were lying directly on the septal cartilage. Despite local medical treatment, a small septal perforation developed. The patient was considered for a septal plug/grommet but, being symptom-free, he was not keen.