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Is an ER consultation required if a child has ingested a battery?

Feb 2018
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1984
Answered : 11767 Questions

I m a paranoid mother of a 14 months old daughter who knows that there is 99.5 percent changes of my daughter ingesting a battery but im still worried about wad all things would happen if at all she had ingested it which is 0.5 percent. its been more than 14 days since i threw a battery out of her toy.. but im in doubt as to wad if i threw just one button battery n the other one just fell on floor that went unnoticed( very very unlikely).. it happed before 2 weeks but it doesnt go out of my mind.. till now asymptomatic.. can a battery be lodged somewhere n show no symptoms till now? how long can a battery be stuck somewhere without showing symptoms? I meant 99.5 percent of not ingesting a battery
Posted Fri, 24 Nov 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please get an X-ray to confirm or rule out.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your query.
Noted the history and understood your concerns well.
First of all, please calm down.
Button battery if ingested by a 14 month old baby usually passed out in feces and not stuck somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract as it is covered by mucus to protect the tract. Mucus also give slippery protective cover to any of the foreign body ingested.
If any foreign body is stuck in the tract there will be definite symptoms and since your daughter have no symptoms, there is no need to worry much.
The simplest way is to get the X-ray of the chest and whole abdomen to see whether there is a battery or not. This is needed as there is a doubt, although very small and hence should be ruled out.
The battery that has passed the esophagus and stomach usually do not cause symptoms and pass with stools and may not cause symptoms, a very low chance.
It is known that it may take weeks in some rare cases. But why to worry, better to get an X-ray to confirm or rule out.

I hope, this answer helps you.
Please feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is an ER consultation required if a child has ingested a battery? 21 hours later
Thank you doctor for answering all my queries.. the chances of her battery ingestion is equal to nil.. but i suffer from anxiety and keep worrying about things that might happen and keep runnig to hospitals.. im sure my family would never accept to take an x-ray due to the radiation effects when she did not ingest it at all.. please tell me if at all she did what is the maximum incubation time for the symptoms to occur if it has correded
Or leaked in body.. can she be asymptomatic even after a month but still retain the battery lodged somewhere?
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Doubt has to be cleared - risk of radiation is less than the battery inside

Detailed Answer:
I can understand your anxiety and family's concerns.
Medical science depends fully on evidence and calculated risk.
When there is a doubt, it should be solved.
The risk of radiation is far less than the battery in the intestines.
Every patient responds in a different way to a given problem. As per the reported cases the studies show that it can take a lot of time in some patients to pass in feces and it is unpredictable how the battery will respond in a given case. It is your baby and it is you to decide.
If you have a doubt get the X-ray done and let the result be known
Please get the X-ray done to be sure about if you believe in the decision making and let me know the results.

I hope this answer helps you in decision making.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is an ER consultation required if a child has ingested a battery? 42 minutes later
Thank you.. i ll get an x ray done for sure.. is there a three dimensional c ray needed? And is there any special x ray for infants.. i dont want to meet her pediatrician because she too thinks am an anxious paranoid mother and might advice otherwise.. please tell me the kinda x ray that needs to be taken..
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please ask Radiologist.

Detailed Answer:
Mother being anxious is absolutely normal and natural.Please ask the Radiologist/Radiology department about the availability of the best and the one causing the least radiation.
Please give me feedback about the findings.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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