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article imageSwallowing button batteries can damage tissue in just 2 hours

By KJ Mullins     Mar 25, 2011 in Health
Montreal - In less than two hours a button battery can cause tissue damage from chemical leaks if swallowed, warns Trauma specialists at The Montreal Children's Hospital.
The small batteries can look like candy to a young child making them tempting to shallow. Young children though aren't the only ones showing up in emergency rooms after swallowing batteries, teens can be victims too.
Debbie Friedman, MCH Trauma Director, spoke in a press release about a recent teenage patient who spent 10 days as an in-patient at the Montreal Children's Hospital. The teen had been chewing on the end of their pen that had a flashlight inside. The button battery that he swallowed because of that resulted in an oesophageal burn extending up to 30 centimetres and a small perforation.
Button batteries can cause esophageal perforation, tracheoesophageal fistulas, bleeding, infection, vocal cord damage, and in extreme cases death.
"A button battery can easily lodge in a child's esophagus, larynx, pharynx, trachea or stomach. When swallowed, the battery corrodes quickly and oozes chemicals which can severely burn tissue in under two hours," says Dr. Dominic Chalut, MCH Toxicologist / Emergentologist. "Even if there are no symptoms, all children who swallow button batteries must be seen immediately in a Pediatric Emergency Department preferably one with a Trauma Centre."
If your child shallows a button battery take them to the hospital immediately. The battery must be removed within two hours to avoid serious damage if it has become lodged in a child's throat.
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