You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Honey reduces injuries from accidentally swallowing button battery

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Consuming after accidentally a button battery has the potential to reduce in small children, a study has found.

Based on findings in laboratory animals, the research suggests that this common may significantly reduce morbidity and mortality from highly caustic batteries.

"Button batteries are ingested by children more 2,500 times a year in the United States, with more than a 12-fold increase in fatal outcomes in the last decade compared to the prior decade," said Ian N Jacobs, from (CHOP) in the US.

"Since serious damage can occur within two hours of ingesting a battery, the interval between ingestion and removal is a critical time to act in order to reduce esophageal injury," said Jacobs.

Due to their size, candy-like shape and shiny metallic surface, button batteries have posed a risk for toddlers for decades. When the battery reacts with saliva and tissue of the esophagus, it creates a hydroxide-rich, that essentially dissolves tissue.

Children with an oesophageal button battery may present with symptoms of sore throat, cough, fever, difficulty swallowing, poor oral intake or noisy breathing.

This can cause severe complications like oesophageal perforation, and erosion into the airway or major blood vessels.

The longer it takes for the battery to be removed, the higher the risk for these children, particularly those without access to hospitals with specialised anesthesiologists and endoscopists experienced in removing foreign objects.

The research team wanted to determine successful interventions for mitigating these in both a home and clinical setting and test their effectiveness in a live animal model, in this case, laboratory pigs.

Specifically, the researchers sought palatable, more viscous liquids that could create a protective barrier between the tissue and the battery, as well as neutralize harsh alkaline levels.

The team screened various options, including common household beverages such as juices, sodas, and sports drinks, in laboratory experiments.

"We explored a variety of common household and medicinal liquid options, and our study showed that and sucralfate demonstrated the most protective effects against button battery injury, making the more localized and superficial," said Kris R Jatana, from the

"The findings of our study are going to be put immediately into clinical practice, incorporated into the latest National Capital Poison Center Guidelines for management of button battery ingestions," Jatana said.

Prior published studies by this team had tested weakly acidic liquids like lemon juice as a proof of concept. However, many children do not enjoy drinking lemon juice. By contrast, the sweet taste of is much more palatable to young children.

"Our recommendation would be for parents and caregivers to give honey at regular intervals before a child is able to reach a hospital, while clinicians in a hospital setting can use sucralfate before removing the battery," Jacobs said.

However, the authors caution against using these substances in children who have a clinical suspicion of existing or perforation of the esophagus, known to honey or sucralfate, or in children less than one-year-old due to a small risk of

"While future studies could help establish the ideal volume and frequency for each treatment, we believe that these findings serve as a reasonable benchmark for clinical recommendations," Jacobs said.

"Safely ingesting any amount of these liquids prior to battery removal is better than doing nothing," he said.

"Button batteries are commonly found in households, and they should always be stored in a secured container, out of reach of children," said Jatana.

"Parents and caregivers should check all in the home and make certain that the battery is enclosed in a compartment that requires a tool to open and periodically check to ensure it stays secure over time," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 12:40 IST