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Pediatric button battery injuries: 2013 task force update.

Over the last 10 years, there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of severe injuries involving children who ingest button batteries. Injury can occur rapidly and children can be asymptomatic or demonstrate non-specific symptoms until catastrophic injuries develop over a period of hours or days. Smaller size ingested button batteries will often pass without clinical sequellae; however, batteries 20mm and larger can more easily lodge in the esophagus causing significant damage. In some cases, the battery can erode into the aorta resulting in massive hemorrhage and death. To mitigate against the continued rise in life-threatening injuries, a national Button Battery Task Force was assembled to pursue a multi-faceted approach to injury prevention. This task force includes representatives from medicine, public health, industry, poison control, and government. A recent expert panel discussion at the 2013 American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA) Meeting provided an update on the activities of the task force and is highlighted in this paper.

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