Monday, July 2, 2012

A Lithium Battery In A Hot Dog Is No Picnic

With summer here, many of us will be turning on the grills and barbecues to cook burgers and hot dogs for our families. Yet, as Dr. Steven Marcus, Executive and Medical Director of the New Jersey Poison Information Center points out, after reading the article we published in June by Sharpe et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0012) on pediatric battery-ingestions, a lithium battery may also do the grilling — but unfortunately grilling on the lining of the digestive system if a child accidentally ingests one. As you can see from the photos below, Dr. Marcus placed a lithium battery inside a sliced hot dog and when both poles came in contact with the frankfurter, the result is a picture that burns itself into your mind — and perhaps your patients’ minds as well if you show it to them as a means of encouraging them to keep these batteries secured inside the small electronics, and to keep the spares out of reach of small children. Thanks Dr. Marcus for your frank contribution to battery ingestion prevention. After seeing the photos he sent us, I think I’ll still cook my hot dogs on a grill so that batteries are not included.

Three hours later...