Intake of batteries, Gaslini sounds the alarm: 4 children in one month in the emergency room

Genoa. The 17-month-old boy who arrived at the emergency room at Gaslini Hospital from Savona province on the night of Saturday 14 May for “vomiting with blood and anemia” is out of life danger.

The parents told the doctors that he had not been healthy for a week, did not want to eat and had a low temperature. The emergency room surgeon, Vittorio Guerriero, had immediately undergone an X-ray, noted an immediate danger to life: it was a lithium cell located in the baby’s esophaguswhich resulted in vomiting of blood and progressive anemia from collective necrosis (the mechanism of damage to the esophagus) and consequent ulceration of the intestine.

Raffaele Spiazzi, Director of Health at Gaslini Hospital, explains: “On the night of May 14, the task force was immediately activated, which includes: radiologist, thoracic surgeon, cardiac surgeon, digestive endoscopist, respiratory endoscopist, instrumentalists, perfusionists, anesthesiologists and resuscitation assistants. the child an intubation by Andrea Dato and Lara Petrucci, after which the chest was opened by the heart surgeon Francesco Santoro and the thoracic surgeon Michele Torre, who has secured the large vessels from the damaged esophagus.; then the digestive endoscopists – Paolo Gandullia and Serena Arrigo – who had difficulty to locate the pile because the tissue was necrotic, flaky, and bleeding; the pile had also, over time, cut out a niche. exclude potential respiratory damage.The operation was terminated after ci rka to timer. “

After the operation, the baby was then transferred to the neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit headed by Andrea Moscatelli, where he remained hospitalized in three weeks in a reserved forecast. The risk, explains the doctors who had to treat other cases in this way, was that the esophagus was perforated: the corrosive damage to the pile was immortalized for several days despite the pile being removed.

“Also last night a 2-year-old child arrived, who turned out to have swallowed a dish battery, fortunately it was found in the stomach and not in the esophagus, the child will be admitted for observation until the natural expulsion of the battery – he says Paolo Gandullia Director of Gastroenterology at Gaslini – in the last few weeks we have had to deal with 4 cases: arrived at the emergency room with suspicion of ingestion of a button cell: one fortunately turned out to be a false alarm, another child was detained for observation, then from radiological examination resulted in ingestion of a battery, and was discharged after 24 hours, after the natural excretion in the feces and relative controls. The third child is the one to be operated on, for whom we are currently dissolving the prognosis. A quarter arrived last night ”.

Spiazzi adds: “With our specialists, also in the light of a common interdisciplinary protocol, we have decided once again to draw parents’ attention to the prevention of this type of serious accident with potentially fatal outcome. Gaslini’s medical-nurse task force was able to to respond effectively and in a very short time; Unfortunately, however, these cases continue to occur: ingestion of the lithium battery still deserves the nickname silent killer “.

Emanuela Piccotti, Director of the Gaslini Emergency Room, emphasizes: “Ingestion of foreign bodies in the young child represents a real danger and a frequent cause of access to the emergency room. There are foreign bodies that are particularly dangerous and harmful to the internal structures of the organism: especially button, alkali These are metal discs the size of a button or a small coin found in toys, as well as in a variety of everyday tools such as clocks, alarm clocks, hearing aids, remote controls, etc. Their damaging effect occurs due to the short circuit between the positive and negative pole, especially in the digestive segments in close contact with the mucous membranes and especially in the esophagus, where ulcerative lesions can potentially be present as early as 2 hours after ingestion. chest or back pain, sudden rejection of food, vomiting, salivation, cough and respiratory symptoms ”.

This is the Gaslini doctors’ advice to parents to avoid problems of this type:

• Do not allow small children to play or touch objects that contain batteries.
• Be careful if preschool children play with such objects.
• Make sure that toys or objects for adults have a tightly closed space.
Do not “store” these batteries as it is difficult to store them all in safe places for children.
• When replacing “dead” batteries, dispose of them in the appropriate containers without leaving them unattended.
If you yourself suspect that your child has ingested a button cell, go to the emergency room immediately or, if you can not, call 112/118.

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