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Evaluation of a Symptom-Based Algorithm for Managing Battery Ingestions in Children
Objectives While complications from battery ingestion can be severe, especially with the emergence of stronger battery elements, not all ingestions require prompt removal. We aim to evaluate a symptom-focused algorithm for battery ingestion that emphasizes observation over intervention to investigate its safety.
Materials and Methods Patients were identified through a query of foreign-body ingestion radiographs obtained between 2017 and 2020. A retrospective chart review was then performed of all patients who presented with button battery ingestions to identify compliance with our algorithm, overall outcomes, and complications.
Results In total, 2% of all radiographs (44/2,237) demonstrated button battery ingestions. The median age of patients was 3.8 years (interquartile range, 2.6–5.3). Most batteries were found in the stomach (64%, n = 28), but were also identified in the esophagus (14%, n = 6), small bowel (14%, n = 6), and colon (9%, n = 4). All esophageal batteries were managed with immediate endoscopic retrieval. Ten gastric batteries were not managed per protocol, with seven admitted for observation despite being asymptomatic and repeat abdominal X-rays demonstrating persistent gastric location of the battery. Four patients underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy; however, in two patients the battery had migrated past the stomach prior to intervention. All small bowel batteries and three of four asymptomatic colon batteries were managed per protocol; one patient had additional imaging that demonstrated battery passage.
Conclusion Adherence to a symptom-focused protocol for conservative management of button battery ingestions beyond the gastroesophageal junction is safe and frequently does not require admission, serial imaging, or intervention.
Received: 30 June 2021
Accepted: 21 October 2021
16 December 2021 (online)
© 2021. Thieme. All rights reserved.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG
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