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Clinical guideline for retained button batteries
  1. Rory Houston1,
  2. Steven Powell1,
  3. Bruce Jaffray2,
  4. Stephen Ball1,3
  1. 1 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatric Surgery, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3 Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Rory Houston, ENT, Health Education North East, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; roryhouston{at}


Objective To design a clinical guideline for the emergency management of retained button batteries (RBBs) through analysis of UK National Health Service hospital guidelines and published literature.

Method 49 acute hospitals were contacted, and their guidelines were analysed. A consensus guideline was then created with multidisciplinary input. The final guideline was independently peer reviewed by the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (ENT UK) clinical guidelines committee.

Results 40 (82%) trusts responded. 28 had a guideline for the management of a RBB in the aerodigestive tract. Significant variation between guidelines assessment, investigation and management of a RBB was identified.

Conclusion A single-page guideline was designed to improve frontline healthcare professional’s immediate investigation and management of a RBB on presentation to emergency care. This has been published by ENT UK as a clinical guideline.

  • ENT
  • accident & Emergency
  • general paediatrics

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  • Contributors RH: Performed data acquisition, analysis and interpretation along with draft and revisions of article. SP and BJ: provided critical revision of the article and provided final approval of the version to publish. SB: conceived project and design of study, provided revision of the article and final approval of the version to publish. All authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Considerations concluded this was a service evaluation project.

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

  • Data availability statement Data is available upon reasonable request. Please contact for any enquires.