Ingestions of the small, disk-shaped "button" batteries used to power watches, cameras, and hearing aids have increased in frequency during the past several years. Ingestions of these smooth objects, primarily by children younger than 5 years, have not been addressed in previous reported series of foreign-body ingestions. Two series of cases of battery ingestions and one additional case are reported in this issue of The Journal (see also pp 2495, 2502, and 2504). The data presented clearly show that we cannot any longer consider these batteries to be nonhazardous, smooth foreign bodies. There is a significant potential for major injury associated with these ingestions. Physicians must be aware of the correct treatment and be prepared to institute it rapidly. The public must be educated as to the potential hazard.
The two reports seem to have divergent therapeutic recommendations. Since both approaches are a departure from currently accepted methods, a new
Rumack BH, Rumack CM. Disk Battery Ingestion. JAMA. 1983;249(18):2509–2511. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330420055037
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