Alkaline battery is the common battery used in flashlights, portable radios, and toys. There may be harmful effects when a person swallows an alkaline battery or breathes in large amounts of dust or smoke from burning batteries. Children have the highest possibility of swallowing alkaline button battery because of its attractive shape.
Poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to the chemicals inside the battery. Most household exposures such as licking some liquid from a leaking battery or swallowing a button battery are minor. Serious problems are usually seen only when exposed to the chemicals inside the battery during industrial accidents.
Symptoms depend on what type of battery is collapsed. There may be harmful effects when an alkaline battery is swallowed. The main symptoms of alkaline battery poisoning may include: severe pain in the mouth, susceptibility to breath due to the throat sliding shut, severe pain in the throat, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, rapid drop in blood pressure and collapse. You may have the some more symptoms when you inhale large amounts of the alkaline battery, or contents, dust, and smoke from burning batteries.
Immediate emergency treatment is very much important when any battery is swallowed. Some of the measures to be taken if any one swallows an alkaline battery are as follows:
If alkaline batteries or alkaline button batteries are swallowed, do not mention vomiting nor give food or drinks, and consult a physician immediately. Give the person water or milk if advised by a health care provider. If the person breathed in fumes from the battery, then it is advised to move the person to fresh air immediately before seeking medical advice. Do not make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional. Before calling for emergency medical help, determine the information such as patient's age, weight, and condition, type of alkaline battery swallowed, the time at which it was swallowed and the amount swallowed. The next thing is to take the person to Poison Control or health care professional. The above determined information must be provided to the Poison Control or health care professional. This information is very much essential for the Poison Control or health care professional to give the right medical treatment.
The Poison Control or health care professional will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, such as temperature, pulse rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. It is essential to take x-rays immediately to make sure the battery is not stuck in the esophagus. Most swallowed batteries that pass through the esophagus will pass in the stool without complication. But if a battery gets stuck in the esophagus it can cause a hole in the esophagus very quickly. To remove a battery stuck in the esophagus, the patient may also need an upper GI endoscopy.
The health condition of the person who swallowed an alkaline battery depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment was received. These patients can have better chance of recovery if they get medical help immediately. Full recovery is also possible if grateful quickly. Alkaline batteries, especially alkaline button batteries should be kept where small children can not access. Dispose the used up alkaline batteries according to the specified procedure.