Severe ocular injury after button battery exposure.


BACKGROUND Button batteries can cause local tissue necrosis within 2h of exposure due to hydrolysis of tissue fluid and generation of hydroxide ions. Tissue damage resulting from battery exposure has been associated with acute and chronic complications via several routes, however, previous experience with ocular battery exposures is predominantly limited to batteries that have exploded or penetrated the eye. OBJECTIVES A case is presented of an intact battery causing significant damage after ocular exposure without penetrating the eye. CASE REPORT An 18-year-old woman presented to the Emergency Department after a toy balloon propelled a button battery into the patient's eye. The battery did not penetrate the orbit and was intact upon removal from the inferior fornix in the operating room 4h later. The patient had severe conjunctival ulceration, subconjunctival hemorrhage, vitreous opacification, and a partially dilated pupil, with the greatest area of injury adjacent to the negative pole of the battery. The eye was extensively irrigated and the patient was treated with topical antibiotics, steroids, and a daily rodding procedure to prevent conjunctival adhesions. The eye ultimately healed over the subsequent 6 months, with normal visual acuity on follow-up. CONCLUSION Prolonged ocular exposure to an intact battery can cause significant tissue necrosis, which may threaten sight. Early removal is critical to prevent significant ocular damage and visual compromise.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2012.02.050

Cite this paper

@article{MazerAmirshahi2013SevereOI, title={Severe ocular injury after button battery exposure.}, author={Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi and Nicole Whitaker and Lo Kayewilson and Toby L Litovitz}, journal={The Journal of emergency medicine}, year={2013}, volume={44 2}, pages={e187-9} }