Pathway Background and Objectives

In the US, approximately 3,500 children are treated annually in emergency departments for button battery ingestion. Button batteries that are lodged in the esophagus have the potential to cause catastrophic thermal injuries. Quick recognition and removal of the battery leads to improved prognosis. Progression of injury, however, can lead to death within six hours of ingestion in some cases. Ideally, batteries should be removed within two hours of ingestion. The specific objectives of this algorithm are to:

  • Standardize care to decrease variation in the management of patients with ingestion of esophageal button batteries
  • Decrease time to operative removal in order to improve clinical outcomes for patients with button battery ingestions
  • Decrease unnecessary interventions and testing
  • Clearly delineate safe discharge criteria

Algorithm  Educational Module

  • Time from presentation to diagnosis and removal of battery
  • Admit length of stay
  • Number of patients with admission to the PICU

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