A doctor has admitted that her hospital is in shock after the death of a two-year-old girl who swallowed a button battery.
Harper-Lee Farnthorpe died last month after being admitted to the emergency room at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Pediatrician Dr. Anna Piggot said doctors and nurses “fought as hard as possible” to save the toddler, but the boy died in the operating room. reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.
Dr. Piggot is now warning parents of the dangers of using batteries the size of a small coin.
Harper-Lee died after acid burned from the battery down her esophagus and into a large artery. Mother Stacey Nicklin later found a remote control with a missing button battery in her daughter’s bedroom.
Dr. Pigott said, “Our hearts go out to the affected family. We ask parents to be aware of the dangers of button batteries.
“The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is aware of a number of deaths and very serious injuries in the UK involving other children who have swallowed button batteries, so this is clearly not an isolated incident.
“The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health is concerned about the dangers of batteries and is conducting a nationwide survey to determine how many children are killed or harmed by button batteries each year.
“Symptoms that could indicate that a child has swallowed a battery include coughing or drooling, coughing up blood, and pointing at the throat or stomach. Children with any of these symptoms for no other apparent reason should be taken to hospital immediately for evaluation. A simple x-ray can tell if a battery has been swallowed and if there is any danger.
“As clinicians, we fought as hard as we could to save the child, but in this case the bleeding was unfortunately so heavy that it wasn’t possible.
“This is one of those cases that will long stay in the hearts and minds of our medical and nursing teams and we urge parents to take note of this tragic incident so that future cases can be prevented.”
An investigation has determined that Harper-Lee’s death was an accident.
Steps to Protect Your Child
Keep spare batteries safe and out of reach
If you know which toys or devices use button batteries, check your home
Dispose of “dead” button batteries immediately – they still have enough power to harm children
Teach older children the dangers – why not play with them or give them to younger children
Put strong tape over the battery compartment of the remote controls