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Child Swallowed Button Battery? Honey May Reduce Injury

Outline: Study finds drinking honey or Carafate®, a cherry flavored duodenal ulcer prescription, may help reduce esophageal damage from button batteries swallowed by kids.

Main Digest

Ingestion of button batteries, which are frequently found in the household setting, can rapidly lead to caustic esophageal injury in infants and children.

A new study published in The Laryngoscope found that drinking honey or Carafate® (a cherry- flavored duodenal ulcer prescription) may help reduce esophageal damage.

In experiments conducted on cadavers and live animals, both honey and Carafate® provided a physical barrier and neutralized the tissue pH increase associated with battery ingestion; they both reduced injury severity compared with other common household liquids, including apple juice, orange juice, sodas, sports drinks, and maple syrup.

Honey pot and honey dipper stick
Honey pot and honey dipper stick

"An esophageal button battery can quickly cause significant injury. We have identified protective interventions for both the household and hospital setting that can reduce injury severity," said co-principal investigator Dr. Kris Jatana, Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology Quality Improvement at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, OH.

"Our results will change the practice guidelines for how medical professionals acutely manage button battery ingestion."

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