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Battery Ingestion (cont.)

Battery Ingestion Prevention

  • Batteries should be stored in childproof containers. In the majority of battery ingestion incidents involving children, the battery is found loose.
  • Battery compartments on toys and gadgets should be properly secured and taped shut. One third of ingestion incidents in children occurred after the child removed batteries from a consumer product.
  • Elderly people should never store disk batteries in pillboxes or set them out with medications. Their shape and size make them easily mistaken for medication.
  • When changing a battery, never hold batteries in the mouth.

Battery Ingestion Prognosis

For the majority of cases of disk battery ingestion, conservative therapy is all that is needed. The battery will pass on its own.

  • A disk battery lodged in the esophagus is rare. Only two cases of 2382 studied had a major outcome. Both were young children with a large cell (20-23 mm) lodged in the esophagus.
  • When a battery narrows or blocks the esophagus, severe bleeding or abnormal passages from the esophagus to other organs may occur. All can be aided by surgery, but outcomes can be severe.
  • Heavy metal poisoning, while theoretically possible, has not been clinically reported.

Battery Ingestion Pictures

An endoscope.
An endoscope.

Several disk batteries with a penny for size reference.
Several disk batteries with a penny for size reference.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine


MedscapeReference. Disk Battery Ingestion.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2016
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Disk Battery Ingestion »

Disk batteries are small, coin-shaped batteries used in watches, calculators, and hearing aids.

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