Section 5

What is this?

Button battery

Name a common ENT use for this.

  • Used in hearing aids

Name two complications if placed in the ear.

  • Corrosive burn
  • Conductive hearing loss

Name two complications if placed in the nose.

  • Corrosive burn
  • Aspiration risk

What image is this?

AP x-ray of chest.

What is the likely diagnosis and why?

  • Ingested foreign body, likely button battery.
  • There is a radiopaque object in the oesophagus with a double rim.

What are the main risks for this patient and describe how this occurs?

  • Perforation.
  • The alkaline contents (potassium and/or sodium hydroxide) of the battery react with exposed proteins on mucosal surfaces, which cause liquefaction necrosis and saponification of lipid membranes. 

Describe how you would manage this patient.

  • Immediate removal of the foreign body.
  • Follow-up imaging with contrast swallow to assess for complications.


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