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Clinical guideline for retained button batteries


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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