2-year-old dies after swallowing small button battery

Asmall lithium battery roughly the size of a button likely took the life of a little girl from Oklahoma, according to a heartbreaking report.

It happened just a few days after Christmas 2015 when 2-year-old Brianna Florer began to register a low-grade fever. The fever persisted for the next few days, during which time Brianna didn’t feel well. When she began to vomit and turn pale, her parents rushed to the hospital. Doctors tried to save her life, but by the time they began work on her, it was too late. According to Brianna’s grandfather, “They operated on her for two hours, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding. They believed the battery ate through to her carotid artery by way of her esophagus.”

From 2005 to 2014, newsok.com reported, there were nearly 12,000 cases of children swallowing batteries, according to the National Capital Poison Center.  Of all those cases, 15 children have died.  A Time article from 2011 lays out how it happens: “Once lithium batteries are swallowed, saliva triggers an electrical current that releases a chemical reaction that can scorch the esophagus and damage vocal cords; the chemical reactions can continue once the batteries are removed. Feeding tubes are often required, and corrective surgeries are not always successful.”  Doctors believe that this is exactly what happened to Brianna; although autopsy results have not yet been released.
The tragedy has left the young family devastated.  Brianna’s grandfather now wants other caregivers to be aware of the dangers lithium batteries can pose.  “I want to keep these things out of houses,” he said. “They are dangerous.”  Friends of Brianna’s family have set up a GoFundMe account for anyone who would like to donate toward the funeral costs.
 

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