Girl, 2, saved from death after Sheffield medics discover swallowed battery burning hole in her throat

A two-year-old girl was saved from the brink of death after medics at a Sheffield hospital found a battery she’d swallowed burning a hole in her throat.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 6:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 3:23 pm

Elsie-Rose Duffy went to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for an arranged appointment for ongoing stomach pains – but shocked doctors found a penny-sized lithium battery wedged in her throat.

Mum Kirsty, 29, claims she was told to kiss her daughter 'one last time' before being wheeled into life-saving surgery.

Doctors said the battery was quickly burning a hole in Elsie-Rose's throat - and she was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary for emergency surgery.

Ellie Rose Duffy - making a good recovery after her battery ordeal. (Photo: SWNS).

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Ms Duffy, from Barnsley, believes the penny-sized battery came from one of her children's toys.

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She said: 'The surgeons told me her chances of survival were like her walking across a motorway without getting hit by a car or lorry. I couldn't believe it.

'They told me to give her "one last kiss" and although I was devastated and in shock at the time, I just did my best to be strong for her.'

She said: 'I can't believe I nearly lost my little girl. This could have had a very different outcome.

'I could have been arriving home without her. It doesn't bear thinking about.'

The tot had been suffering with a stomach ache for several months and a hospital appointment had been arranged for August 29.

'On the night before her appointment she had said "Elsie feeling sick" but I just put it down to the continuing problem - which turned out to be constipation.

'I did not know she had swallowed a battery. It was by a stroke of absolute luck that her hospital appointment was the next day.'

'She's not the type of toddler who puts items in her mouth usually so I didn't know what had happened,' said Ms Duffy.

'In no way would I have thought batteries would be a good thing to swallow, but never would I have thought that it could kill a child.

'It is so important that parents keep these out of reach of children.'

Elsie-Rose is now on medication to heal her throat and she is expected to make a full recovery.

Doctors said the batteries electricity was mixing with saliva to produce caustic soda, which made her throat sore.

Mike Thomson, consultant paediatrician specialising in gastroenterology at Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'Button batteries are incredibly dangerous and can cause severe injury within hours of young children swallowing them.

'There has been a rise in children across the UK being injured as a result of button battery ingestion.

'The easy to open packaging for these buttons and their use in toys means that parents and carers often aren't aware if a child has access to them.

'We recommend that any button battery is safely secured within the toy or item or kept out of reach from children.

'If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery then you must seek immediate medical attention either at a local emergency department or paediatric hospital so that it can be removed.'