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March 26, 1973

Battery Explosions: A Hazard to Health

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

JAMA. 1973;223(13):1509. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220130053017

To the Editor.—  As the cold weather sets in throughout most of the country, many people find themselves having difficulty starting their cars. I personally was not aware of the potential health hazard of so simple a procedure as jumping a battery to start a car until recently, when I was confronted with several patients who sustained ocular injury due to battery explosions.

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—  A 30-year-old woman had a battery explode in her face while she was using jumper cables to start her car. She sustained a central corneal laceration that required hospitalization and intensive medical supervision while it was healing. Fortunately, she developed only a small corneal scar and now has good vision in that eye.

Case 2.—  A 60-year-old man underwent a similar episode as in case 1. He sustained a contusion injury to the eye with foreign material in the conjunctiva. There was