Small Battery Swallowed Endangered Life of 21-Month-Old
The life of a 21-month-old toddler was endangered after he swallowed a battery that lodged in his esophagus The child had been vomiting relentlessly for 6 weeks, and the cause was only revealed after the button-shaped battery was seen on the child's chest x-ray.
A month and a half ago, his mother noticed that her son was not himself, he vomited all the time and behaved differently. She suspected that he had swallowed a foreign body, and rushed him to the nearest clinic. The doctors told her that he probably had a virus, but his vomiting continued. Over the ensuing weeks, the mother took her son to the local doctor, the community clinic, and to another hospital, but only after she insisted they take an x-ray of his chest, did they see a foreign object stuck in his throat.
The child was brought to Schneider Children's where Dr. Manaar Matar, a senior physician in the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases, together with the skilled surgical team, successfully extracted the circular battery. He was transferred after the procedure to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for recovery and thereafter to the Department of Surgery until his discharge.
Dr. Matar noted that "these cases where foreign bodies are inhaled and swallowed by infants and small children can be avoided. We caution parents again and again about the danger of leaving small items that can be easily inhaled and swallowed within the reach of babies and toddlers. Their swallowing mechanisms are not fully developed and they cannot control swallowing and inhaling at the same time, which means that any object put into the mouth can enter the airways. In the event that a child inhales a foreign body, medical assistance must be sought immediately or the child rushed to the nearest hospital. If there is suspicion that the child swallowed a battery, urgent medical attention must be sought in order to contain damage caused by leakage of substances in the battery."
The child's mother said "I appeal to parents to listen to their gut instinct, and to insist on treatment when it comes to the health of their children. Only after I persisted in my demands was an x-ray taken which showed the foreign body in his throat. I am grateful to all who prayed for him; through their prayers and their mitzvoth, we received a miracle and our son's life was saved. I would like to thank the staff of Schneider Children's for their devoted care of our son."