Thursday, June 24, 2010

I accidentally swallowed a hearing aid battery. Should I be worried?

YES, YES, and YES! This is a question that often comes up during new fittings and follow ups. On the back of every package of hearing aid batteries there is a warning about the danger of battery consumption and a phone number you can call --you can even call it collect--202-625-3333. Batteries can cause serious damage to your esophagus if they get hung up on the way to your stomach.
Here are the steps you should follow:
  • Immediately call you physician. If you don't have a primary care physician, go the the emergency room.
  • DO NOT TRY to induce vomiting. Stay away from the ipecac syrup.
  • If you have time and are our patient, call the office and let us know what happened so that we can also contact your physician or the emergency room.
    • Also take along the battery package. It's not a requirement, but it will be helpful.
  • You need an x-ray of the throat, chest, and stomach. If the battery is still in the throat/esophagus area, it will need to be removed immediately using a special type of fiber optic tool, endoscope. Damage to the esophagus can occur in as little as one hour.
  • If the battery moved to your stomach, then you will need to monitor your elimination to ensure that it passes in the stool. If you don't notice it after a week you will need another X-ray.
If have placed a link here to the National Capital Poison Center. This is the contact for the phone number listed above. In addition, I placed a link here (about 70kb's to download). to a pdf document that you can download to your computer.


  1. It’s a very informative and important blog. If any can swallowed the hearing aid battery then he/she wants to take precaution and consult the physician as soon as possible.


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