Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys,
watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled
devices. These batteries are small, usually less than
0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and
can be easily inserted into the nose.
A disc battery in the nose must be removed immediately. The moist
tissue in the nose can cause the battery to release strong chemicals (alkali)
quickly, often in less than 1 hour. This can cause
serious damage to the sensitive mucous membranes lining the nose.
If you or your child has a disc battery in the nose, do not use nose drops or sprays of any type. This can cause
the battery to corrode more quickly.
To remove a disc battery from the nose, have the child breathe
through his or her mouth since the nose is blocked and try the
If you are not able to remove the disc battery, contact your doctor immediately. If you are not
able to contact your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency
March 18, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
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