Swallowing a button battery is dangerous and could be deadly at times. In the past two decades or so, it has been substantially more common in children. However, it can be treated effectively by one kitchen ingredient.
A ScienceAlert report specified that severe injuries caused by a button battery ingestion or BBI have resulted in a marked increase in hospital admissions.
Fortunately, in most such cases, this tiny object passes safely through the patient's digestive tract. Nevertheless, even small batteries can lead to remarkable impairment if they get stuck in a person's esophagus.
Young kids up to six years old are most at risk of complications from BBI because of their tinier body size, which increases the odds a swallowed battery might get stuck in their esophagus, especially larger button batteries like the universal 20-millimeter CR2032, used in a great range of tiny electronics.
Kitchen Ingredients Immediate Response
Within only two hours, a stuck battery can result in severe burns as its negatively charged surface makes prolonged contact with the esophagus's conductive tissue. This said contact generates an electrical current and breaks water nearby down into a highly corrosive fluid.
This report suggests to all parents if such an accident happens to their child, or they suspect their young, non-verbal kid might have swallowed a batter, better not delay.
Instead, they should seek immediate medical attention, as a stuck battery could necessitate urgent endoscopic removal.
Nevertheless, while waiting for medical assistance, researchers are now saying there is something that can be done to alleviate the risk of tissue injury, and it's making the use of a condiment most people have in their kitchens.
A newly-published study summary on BBI occurrences and complications, honey may help when given before the patient gets to the hospital, given up to six doses at 10 millimeters every 10 minutes for children aged over one year old.
Honey and Carafate
This recommendation is indicated in research published in 2018 in The Laryngoscope, which explored mitigation of injury from button battery blockages in the esophagus through the use of young pigs as animal models.
In their study, researchers tested an array of household liquids, including maple syrup, Gatorade, fruit juices, and honey, among others, to find out if any of them helped alleviate tissue injury resulting from the battery lodgment esophagus of the animal.
Eventually, two liquids yield the most clinically effective results, honey and another product known as Carafate, a brand-name version of the sucralfate medication, and explained in the Verywell Health site, which is used for the treatment of ulcer, as well as other stomach diseases.
In their research, the authors explained, in the crucial period from ingestion of the battery to endoscopic elimination, early and recurrent ingestion of honey in the household setting, and Carafate in the clinical background has the potential to lessen the severity and enhance patient outcomes.
Esophageal 'BB' Impactions
The researchers said esophageal BB impactions are severe, conferring a high risk of devastating complications and even death.
They added cadaveric and live animal studies back that early intervention using honey or Carafate suspension is undoubtedly better compared to doing nothing.
Notably, the animal model used in this study is not solid evidence that honey or sucralfate are working to minimize esophageal injuries in humans with batteries stuck in their esophagus.
Moreover, at least some in the medical field have expressed worries about the honey strategy, afraid that parents might defer seeking instantaneous medical care, wasting critical time to try such a home solution first.
Also, in the piglet model, the different test solutions were injected close to the site of the battery to guarantee it would be sufficiently coated.
Say a kid ingests honey; it would be diluted with saliva and may not reach the battery appropriately to coat it effectively. The new study summary on BBI complications was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Related information about button batteries being swallowed by children is shown on SMHCS's YouTube video below:
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