Button battery foreign bodies in children: hazards, management, and recommendations

Biomed Res Int. 2013:2013:846091. doi: 10.1155/2013/846091. Epub 2013 Jul 11.


Objective: The demand and usage of button batteries have risen. They are frequently inadvertently placed by children in their ears or noses and occasionally are swallowed and lodged along the upper aerodigestive tract. The purpose of this work is to study the different presentations of button battery foreign bodies and present our experience in the diagnosis and management of this hazardous problem in children.

Patients and methods: This study included 13 patients. The diagnostic protocol was comprised of a thorough history, head and neck physical examination, and appropriate radiographic evaluation. The button batteries were emergently extracted under general anesthesia.

Results: The average follow-up period was 4.3 months. Five patients had a nasal button battery. Four patients had an esophageal button battery. Three patients had a button battery in the stomach. One patient had a button battery impacted in the left external ear canal. Apart from a nasal septal perforation and a tympanic membrane perforation, no major complications were detected.

Conclusion: Early detection is the key in the management of button battery foreign bodies. They have a distinctive appearance on radiography, and its prompt removal is mandatory, especially for batteries lodged in the esophagus. Physicians must recognize the hazardous potential and serious implications of such an accident. There is a need for more public education about this serious problem.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Ear / diagnostic imaging
  • Ear / pathology*
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nose / diagnostic imaging
  • Nose / pathology*
  • Radiography