Exposure to the coin-sized gadget could have caused it to function and punch a hole in the wind pipe
Nine-month-old Laxmi (name changed) had accidentally ingested a remote control battery while playing at her Rahatni home on October 18, 2017. Following the incident, she was immediately rushed to Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital’s emergency center. After an X-ray, it was revealed that the battery was stuck in esophagus. It was extracted through endoscopy — a non-surgical procedure that involves an endoscope and flexible tube with a light and a camera.
As soon as Laxmi was at the hospital, the doctors expressed an immediate need to get the battery out as it could have caused life-threatening ulcers, burns, and even perforation. They warned the patient’s kin by establishing that if the esophagus mucosa would have enveloped the battery, it could have created an electrical circuit causing the battery to function, releasing an alkali similar to caustic soda. It can erode through the wall to the windpipe.
Following the cautionary advice, a team of doctors lead by Dr Prasad Bhate, a gastroenterologist at Aditya Birla Hospital, removed the impacted battery from the esophagus. The nine-month-old was then discharged in a couple of days. Bhate said, “We were tasked with removing the coin-like substance, which we initially suspected was a battery. We put the girl on general anesthesia and removed the foreign body endoscopically. The diameter of this battery was quite large for the food pipe and thus, it could not pass through the stomach. If the battery would have remained in the food pipe for a longer duration, it would have been disastrous for the child’s health”.