Serious complications after button battery ingestion in children

Hilde Krom*, Margot Visser, Jessie M. Hulst, Victorien M. Wolters, Anita M. Van den Neucker, Tim de Meij, Hubert P. J. van der Doef, Obbe F. Norbruis, Marc A. Benninga, Margot J. M. Smit, Angelika Kindermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Serious and fatal complications after button battery ingestion are increasing worldwide. The aim of this study is to describe serious complications after battery ingestion in children in the Netherlands. All pediatric gastroenterologists in the Netherlands performing upper endoscopies were asked to report all serious complications after battery ingestion in children (0-18 years) between 2008 and 2016 retrospectively. Sixteen serious complications were reported: death after massive bleeding through esophageal-aortal fistula (n = 1), esophageal-tracheal fistula (n = 5), stenosis after (suspected) perforation and mediastinitis (n = 5), (suspected) perforation and mediastinitis (n = 3), vocal cord paralysis (n = 1), and required reintubation for dyspnea and stridor (n = 1). The median time interval between ingestion and presentation was 5 (IQR 2-258) h. All children were ae<currency> 5 (median 1.4; IQR 0.9-2.1) years. Vomiting (31.3%), swallowing/feeding problems (31.3%), and fever (31.3%) were the most common presenting symptoms; however, 18.8% of the patients were asymptomatic (n = 1 missing). All batteries were button batteries (75% ae 20 mm; 18.8% < 20 mm; n = 1 missing). The batteries were removed by esophagogastroduodenoscopy (50%) and rigid endoscopy (37.5%) or surgically (12.5%). Conclusion: Sixteen serious complications occurred after small and large button batteries ingestion between 2008 and 2016 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic children in the Netherlands. Therefore, immediate intervention after (suspected) button battery ingestion is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1070
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Button battery
  • Foreign body
  • Ingestion
  • Complications
  • Pediatrics

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