Do Button Battery Guidelines Need To Be Revised?

A recent abstract presented at DDW (R Khalaf et al. abstract Sa2046) with 68 patients identified mucosal findings in the stomach and questioned whether the current guidelines are sufficient.  Generally, guidelines call for the immediate removal of button batteries in the esophagus but in asymptomatic children older than 5 years, most gastric batteries can be observed (see links to previous blog posts below which highlight expert recommendations).


This study was reviewed in Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News: Retrieving Swallowed Batteries in Children: Don’t Watch and Wait  This link also highlights an abstract from the Emory pediatric GI group, NASPGHAN 2019 (#24), which found that only 5% of esophageal button batteries were removed within two hours.

An excerpt:

According to the National Poison Data System, between 1985 and 2017, roughly 3,500 button batteries were swallowed in the United States each year ( battery/ stats). ..

The researchers reviewed 68 cases of children who underwent endoscopy after having swallowed button batteries, which are used in a variety of devices, such as cameras and watches. Eighteen of the patients (26%) were asymptomatic, but 41 (60%) had visible mucosal damage…

Some injuries were more severe. A 9-year-old child with a battery lodged in the antrum experienced a gastric perforation that led to pneumoperitoneum, Dr. Khalaf reported. Although only one other injury was as serious, the researchers identified no risk factors that predicted significant complications.

My take: There are a lot of button battery ingestions.  More data is needed to determine whether more button batteries from the stomach should be retrieved.

Related blog posts:

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2 thoughts on “Do Button Battery Guidelines Need To Be Revised?

  1. Pingback: Briefly Noted: Shwachman-Diamond | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Mitigation Efforts for Button Batteries | gutsandgrowth

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