05/17/2012 // WPB, FL, USA // Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley // (press release)
New York, NY — Button batteries, which are coin-sized batteries used to power dozens of household items, are landing children in the hospital. In fact, button batteries were cited for 84 percent of the battery-related hospital emergency room visits by children from 1999 to 2009, and once they are ingested, they can be life threatening, reports USA Today.
According to a new study reported in the journal Pediatrics, there were 66,000 battery-related emergency department visits by children under 18 during the 20-year-span, and the annual number more than doubled — from 2,591 to 5,525 — by 2009. More than 75% of all battery-related hospital visits involved children 5 or younger.
Researchers found that the increase in emergency room visits aligns with the introduction of the 3-volt 20-millimeter lithium battery, which is “more powerful and can cause tissue damage more quickly,” says Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
While in most cases the batteries are passed in the stool, if it happens to land with its negative pole in contact with tissue fluids in the liming of the esophagus, a microcurrent can generate hydroxide, resulting in alkaline burns and perforations of the esophagus in less than two hours, Smith told USA Today.
As a result of ingesting the batteries, complications can include fatal aorta damage.
“Individual manufacturers have stepped up to make their devices that contain button batteries more resistant to child access,” Smith adds. “Parents need to make sure their children cannot get access, by taping battery compartments shut and keeping loose batteries out of children’s reach.”
Url: West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer News