Monday, May 14, 2012
The use of small electronics, including computer games, has increased over the past decade or two, and with it the availability of button-batteries in these devices, nowadays found in younger hands. Does this mean the injury risks related to easier access to batteries has also increased? Sharpe et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0012) answer that question using a national representative sample from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System over 20 years, measuring battery ingestions, mouth exposures, ear canal and nasal cavity insertion as documented by diagnosis codes and narratives from emergency department visits. The results may shock you (or at least light a fuse!), especially if you look at the increases over the past eight years. While this may not be the number one anticipatory point you think about during a health maintenance visit, if your patient comes in with a handheld computer game, you may want to say more about storing and securing these batteries with parents — especially after reading this electrifying article.
Posted by Dr. Lewis R. First at 12:01 AM