Episode 893: Home Treatments for Button Battery Ingestion - The Emergency Medical Minute

Episode 893: Home Treatments for Button Battery Ingestion

Contributor: Aaron Lessen MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Button batteries cause alkaline corrosion and erosion of the esophagus when swallowed

  • Children swallow button batteries, which create a medical emergency as they can perforate the esophagus

  • A recent study compared various home remedies as first-aid therapy for button battery ingestion

    • Honey, jam, normal saline, Coca-Cola, orange juice, milk, and yogurt

  • The study used a porcine esophageal model to assess resistance to alkalinization with the different home remedies

  • Honey and jam demonstrated a significantly lower esophageal tissue pH compared with normal saline

  • Histologic changes in the tissue samples appeared 60 minutes later with honey and jam compared with normal saline

  • These treatments do not preclude medical intervention and battery removal


1. Chiew AL, Lin CS, Nguyen DT, Sinclair FAW, Chan BS, Solinas A. Home Therapies to Neutralize Button Battery Injury in a Porcine Esophageal Model. Ann Emerg Med. 2023:1-9. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2023.08.018

Summarized by Jorge Chalit, OMSII | Edited by Meg Joyce & Jorge Chalit



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