Emma’s Button Battery Story

Written by her mom, Reina.

Our story. I copied this post from my own profile as it was a very long story.

On 8/5 in the afternoon Emma (my 4yr old) found a button battery and put it in her mouth. She accidentally swallowed it. She immediately hit the floor screaming in pain. Daddy figured it out immediately and Emma was taken by ambulance to the ER.

X-rays showed the battery was lodged in her esophagus.

The danger with button batteries is that they almost immediately start eroding the esophagus and can deteriorate the major blood vessels in the area. Not to mention the burning pain in her chest and throat.

We were then taken via ambulance to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. There she was immediately put under anesthesia to have the battery removed. She had significant burns in her esophagus. The acid from the battery can continue to cause damage for about 48 hours. She was closely monitored and she went under anesthesia again on Sunday for a second scope to further assess the damage. Her initial burns were healing but she did have one new fissure. Next step was a CT scan with IV and oral contrast to check all the tissue and vessels for perforations. She finally got the all clear yesterday afternoon. She is enjoying all her popsicles and we should be able to go home today!

Ryan and I owe a huge thank you to everyone who rallied around us during this time. Our awesome friend and babysitter who came to the first ER to pick up our 6 yr old with no hesitation and kept her happy and entertained all weekend. Our families who took my hysterical phone calls and talked me off the ledge several times. The doctor I work for who sent Emma some amazing balloons and goodies to brighten her spirits and her room. My awesome coworkers and friends who checked in on us often and offered reassurance. All the doctors and nurses here at Doernbecher who took such great care of us all.

Button batteries are small, easy to drop and never find. They are small enough to be swallowed, but big enough to get stuck. We were so lucky that Ryan figured it out so fast and Emma was old enough to communicate with us what was wrong. Scary for sure but we were lucky. These batteries are the leading cause of death by poison in small children and Emma is one of many that this has happened to. Stay vigilant if you have things in your home that use this style of battery.

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