1 Injuries in children from ingesting button batteries are increasing
Between 1999 and 2019, the United States National Poison Data System reported a 66.7% increase in yearly ingestion of button batteries (6.98 to 10.46 per million population) and a 10-fold increase in complications (0.77% [n = 76] to 7.53% [n = 551]). (1) Button batteries can cause substantial tissue damage within 2 hours of ingestion. (2)
2 The type and size of the ingested battery influence the likelihood of complications
Lithium batteries (given their high voltage) and those 20 mm or larger (which are likely to become lodged in the esophagus) are most dangerous, especially in children younger than 6 years. (2) Complications include gastrointestinal perforation, aortoesophageal fistulas and strictures. (2,3)
3 Urgency of management depends on the location of the battery
Anterior-posterior and lateral radiographs of the chest and abdomen can determine the location of the button battery. Batteries in the esophagus should immediately be removed endoscopically. Management of batteries distal to the lower...