A baby girl has died after swallowing a tiny button battery which began generating electricity inside her and eroded through her tissues, causing terrible burns.
Reese Smith, 1, died last Thursday, Dec 17, weeks after taking the button battery out of a remote control at her home in Lubbock, Texas, and swallowing it.
Reese suffered severe burns to her throat, oesophagus and vocal cords.
Pediatrician Dr Thomas McGill, who treated Reese, said the youngster’s mucus membrane had been burned “completely black, as if you were roasting a marshmallow.”
Dr McGill, who treated Reese at University Medical Center in Lubbock, explained that one side of the flat battery has a positive charge, while the other has a negative charge. So, the battery began generating electricity after settling in the child’s oesophagus, before eroding through the oesophagus and settling in her airway.
Reese’s mother Trista, a hairdresser, noticed her daughter could not stop coughing last month, and feared she may have swallowed the battery after noticing a remote whose back had been taken off.
Trista rushed her daughter to hospital, where an x-ray confirmed her worst fears.
Reese was later transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. There, she underwent multiple surgeries to remove the battery and try and repair the damage to her insides.
Unfortunately, the toddler eventually succumbed to her injuries despite surgeons’ best efforts to save her.
Doctors said the battery had been inside the child for too long to save her.