(From the July 2014 Issue of MedStat)
Approximately 3,500 button battery ingestions occur annually in the U.S., and a majority of these occur in children under six years of age. The major challenge for physicians is that these children may have non-specific symptoms, similar to viral illnesses, and these may be un-witnessed events. Significant injury can occur in only two hours, so prompt removal is important to prevent further morbidity or death that can occur. If there is a suspicion that a child has ingested a button battery or placed one in the nasal cavity or ear canal, they will need to go immediately to the ED. Please call Physician Direct Connect at (614) 355-0221 to help expedite emergency care and notify the necessary medical personnel. Parent/caregiver educational handouts on button batteries are available in English, Spanish, and Somali for PDF download at NationwideChildrens.org/Button-Battery-Safety.