September 20, 2010

NPR: Injuries To Kids From Swallowed Disc Batteries Are No Joke... It Is An EMERGENCY!!!

In fact it is a STAT emergency... NPR published a story on Sept 20, 2010 regarding Chuck E. Cheese's recall of two toys (a light-up ring and glasses) due to a disc battery used to power them.

These disc batteries can be access by small children if they smash apart the toy. The Consumer Products Safety Commission says two kids have had problems with batteries; one swallowed it and the other stuck it up his nose.

The danger is that when a disc battery is inserted into a nose (for example), a localized electric current is created between the positive and negative poles of the battery within the nose. This electric current basically "electrocutes" the lining inside the nose leading to tissue damage and ultimately necrosis (tissue death) within an hour. The same applies even if the battery is swallowed or put into the ear canal.

Treatment is IMMEDIATE removal... as soon as possible. Regardless of the day or time. STAT...

In the last 10 years, 13 deaths related to swallowed batteries have been reported, 12 of which are due to disc batteries (20 millimeter lithium cells).

Small children should NEVER be able to access disc batteries.

Read the NPR story here.

Read about the recall itself here (also from NPR).

Preventing Battery Ingestions: An Analysis of 8648 Cases Published online May 24, 2010
PEDIATRICS (doi:10.1542/peds.2009-3038)

A Review of Esophageal Disc Battery Ingestions and a Protocol for Management Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;136(9):866-871. doi:10.1001/archoto.2010.146

Images of the toys that have been recalled...

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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