This is what a button battery can do to the inside of your throat

The battery can make your esophagus singe, bubble and burn.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The experiment looks ... sparse.

It's a generic slice of ham, on a generic white styrofoam plate, with a little silver battery on it. But holy cow does it get unnerving quick.

This is the start of the experiment:

It was tweeted by EMT Ross Antonio Chavez as part of a medical training program for Hennepin County Medical Center.

But here's that same slice of ham, on the same styrofoam plate, with the same little battery on it, just a little bit later.

The ham is standing in for throat tissue here. And when combined with liquid, like saliva, the battery starts to burn – the esophageal tissue singes, bubbles, and crisps.

The goal is to show how much damage one of those button batteries can be if they're swallowed.

It's far more disturbing than ham on a plate has any right to be. But this is happening to kids.

Cases of ingesting button batteries

A 3-year-old ate only through a feeding tube, for a year, after accidentally swallowing a button battery that then got stuck in her throat, the BBC reported. She had surgery to try to repair the damage.

Here's their video report for the story:

In Oklahoma last year, a 2-year-old died after swallowing a button battery. The details are gruesome – she threw up blood and turned a blue color, and was rushed to the hospital.

“They operated on her for 2 1/2 hours, but they couldn't stop the bleeding,” a family member told The Oklahoman. “They believed the battery ate through to her carotid artery by way of her esophagus.”

And recently a Florida couple sued a hospital that told them it likely wasn't a big deal.

This doesn't happen every time

HealthyChildren.org says more than 3,000 button batteries – which you find in watches, small toys, cameras, and a bunch of other small electronics – are ingested each year in the U.S.

The National Capital Poison Center says a lot of times, the batteries can end up passing through the digestive system and come out with stool. It's the ones that get stuck somewhere that cause these serious issues.

If you think a child has swallowed a button battery, take them to the emergency room immediately. The faster it comes out, the less damage it can do.

You can also call U.S. Poison Control 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222

What to do

The best thing you can do – as is the case with many of the things that can be a danger to kids – is watch them. Keep an eye on their toys, and the items around your house that may use button batteries.

Make sure the battery compartments are sealed.

Next Up

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.

Klobuchar

Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.

Related

Can a court force you to unlock a phone with your fingerprint? Yep

If investigators need your fingerprint to access your phone for a case, they can probably get it.

You can Boomerang from inside Instagram now

Get some sweet Boomerangs in your Instagram story.

From strokes to depression – here's what 'springing forward' does to your body

Daylight saving time begins Sunday at 2 a.m., so you'll essentially be losing an hour of sleep.

3M technology could boost battery life 40 percent

Gadgets might run significantly longer or come much smaller thanks to a new innovation from 3M. The company has devised a new kind of battery component made of silicon that can significantly boost the amount of energy stored in conventional lithium ion batteries (the kind used in our gadgets).

There's been an uptick of stolen license plates – here's what you can do to protect yours

They steal them to conceal their identity while committing other crimes.

battery-22225_1280

Minneapolis follows Hennepin County in stopping battery collections

You can no longer recycle batteries with your garbage pickup.

What is synthetic marijuana, and why is it more dangerous?

There have been dozens of K2 overdoses in the Twin Cities recently.