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Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-301631
  • Case report

20 mm lithium button battery causing an oesophageal perforation in a toddler: lessons in diagnosis and treatment

  1. Julian P Roberts1
  1. 1Paediatric Surgery Unit, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy
  3. 3Adult Upper GI Surgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK
  4. 4Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Giampiero Soccorso, Paediatric Surgery Unit, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Western Bank, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S10 2TH, UK; giampsoccorso{at}doctors.org.uk
  1. Contributors GS designed the study, provided clinical input, and contributed to the analysis and writing the paper. OG wrote the first draft of the paper. MM assisted with the design of the study. SSM and MT provided clinical input to the study and contributed to the analysis and writing of the paper. JPR provided clinical input to the study, assisted with the design of the study and contributed to the analysis and writing of the paper.

  • Accepted 29 February 2012
  • Published Online First 1 May 2012

Abstract

Swallowed button batteries (BB) which remain lodged in the oesophagus are at risk of serious complications, particularly in young children. The authors report a 3-year-old child, who rapidly developed an oesophageal perforation, following the ingestion of a 20-mm lithium BB which was initially mistaken for a coin. A thoracotomy and T-tube management of the perforation led to a positive outcome. BBs (20 mm) in children should be removed quickly and close observation is required as the damage initiated by the battery can lead to a significant injury within a few hours.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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