Pediatric battery-related emergency department visits in the United States, 1990-2009.
To investigate the epidemiology of battery-related emergency department (ED) visits among children <18 years of age in the United States.
Using a nationally representative sample from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, battery-related ED visits in the United States from 1990 to 2009 were analyzed. Four battery exposure routes for patients were determined from diagnosis codes and case narratives: ingestion, mouth exposure, ear canal insertion, and nasal cavity insertion.
An estimated 65788 (95% confidence interval: 54498-77078) patients <18 years of age presented to US EDs due to a battery-related exposure during the 20-year study period, averaging 3289 battery-related ED visits annually. The average annual battery-related ED visit rate was 4.6 visits per 100000 children. The number (P < .001) and rate (P = .002) of visits increased significantly during the study period, with substantial increases during the last 8 study years. The mean age was 3.9 years (95% confidence interval: 3.5-4.2), and 60.2% of patients were boys. Battery ingestion accounted for 76.6% of ED visits, followed by nasal cavity insertion (10.2%), mouth exposure (7.5%), and ear canal insertion (5.7%). Button batteries were implicated in 83.8% of patient visits caused by a known battery type. Most children (91.8%) were treated and released from the ED.
This study evaluated battery-related ED visits among US children using a nationally representative sample. Batteries pose an important hazard to children, especially those ≤ 5 years of age. The increasing number and rate of battery-related ED visits among children underscore the need for increased prevention efforts.
Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Dr, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.
SourcePediatrics 129:6 2012 Jun pg 1111-7
Electric Power Supplies
Emergency Service, Hospital
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.