Chandigarh, November 27 : Though still rare, cases of children accidently swallowing button cells used in watches, toys, hearing aids, calculators, etc continue to trickle into hospitals in the tri-city and around. If these are not removed immediately they can cause chemical corrosion in the parts of the body where they get stuck, and even death if neglected for long. Two such cases — a ten year old boy from Sector 15 Panchkula and the other a 4 year old girl from Mohali – were recently attended by Dr. Arun Prasad, Consultant Pediatrics – Pediatric Gastroentrologist at Alchemist Hospital, Sector 21, Panchkula.
The foreign body was removed using an endoscopic procedure within an hour of ingestion. Said Dr. Prasad, Rizul, a 10 years old boy and resident of Sector 15 Panchkula, accidently ingested a button cell and it got stuck in the lower end of his oesophagus. He was in severe pain, not able to swallow and was drooling. The boy was rushed to Alchemist Hospital immediately and within one hour the button cell was removed but not before its leaking chemicals had already done corrosive damage to the oesophagus. The 4-year-old girl, B. Aditi Kaushik from Mohali, had accidently swallowed the button cell while in school and it got lodged in the stomach. She complained of vomiting and abdominal pain and was referred to Alchemist Hospital from a private hospital in Mohali.
The foreign body was successfully removed. Dr. Prasad said the purpose of sharing this information with the media was to inform the general public that button cells, if accidently swallowed by anyone, need to be immediately removed endoscopically because laxatives and bananas do not work in flushing out these buttons cells if they get stuck in any part of the body. One should not take any risk as these button cells can cause chemical corrosion in the esophagus and lead to fatal complications in a child, he advised.