Fatality Due to Button Battery Lodgment in the Upper Digestive Tract of a Neonate: An Unusual Presentation

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2019 Sep;40(3):298-301. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000495.


Foreign body ingestion is not uncommonly seen in children, with most such ingestions occurring between 6 months to 3 years of age. Button battery ingestion constitutes approximately 2% of all ingested foreign bodies in children. Button batteries are disc-shaped power units used for various electronic appliance, gadgets, and toys and often contain various toxic chemical substances such as heavy metal salts and alkali. Button batteries may become lodged in the upper digestive tract, producing severe damage to the adjacent tissues by various mechanisms. A death of a neonate due to a button battery lodging in the upper digestive tract leading to tracheoesophageal fistula and esophageal perforation is presented. To the best of authors' knowledge, the present case is the youngest death reported due to button battery lodgment, and the challenges of investigation in such a case are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Electric Power Supplies / adverse effects*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Foreign Bodies / complications
  • Foreign Bodies / pathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pneumonia / etiology*
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / etiology*
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / pathology