Doctors remove 50 batteries from woman’s intestines and stomach after she swallowed them to harm herself

Doctors in Ireland saved a woman by removing 50 batteries from her stomach and intestines after swallowing her in an attempt to harm herself, reports say.

The unidentified 66-year-old woman was hospitalized at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin after ingesting an initially “unknown number” of cylindrical batteries, according to a report published by the Irish Medical Journal last week.

During an X-ray, the doctors found that the woman had swallowed a total of 55 batteries, including AA and AAA, and these were stuck in her abdomen.

However, the batteries did not block their gastrointestinal tract and they showed no structural damage. So doctors initially took a conservative approach to treatment that allowed her to naturally cycle the batteries through her body.

In the first week, the woman passed five AA batteries. However, later X-rays showed that most of the batteries remained in her abdomen. After the patient developed complaints of diffuse abdominal pain and anorexia, doctors decided to undergo surgery, Live Science reported.

At this point, the woman’s abdomen was being pulled down and stretched by the weight of the batteries. The surgeons made an incision to gain access to the woman’s abdominal cavity and removed 46 batteries from her intestines by laparotomy. Four batteries lodged in the colon were then “milked” into the rectum and removed through the anus with an anal retractor and long forceps.

“To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the highest reported number of batteries ingested at a single time,” the doctors said in the medical journal, adding that the woman made an uneventful recovery.

Although button battery ingestion is common in pediatric cases, cylindrical battery ingestion for self-harm is a “rare occurrence.” Ingesting a cylindrical battery could cause potential harm, including mucosal lacerations, perforations, obstructions and ST segment elevation, according to medical professionals.

“The ingestion of large cylindrical batteries is less common; therefore no clear practice guidelines have been developed. Possible options for managing cylindrical battery ingestion include conservative management, endoscopic extraction, or surgical removal,” the medics said in the journal.

“However, signs of airway compromise, esophageal obstruction or perforation are indicative of emergency endoscopy,” the journal added.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you can get free, confidential help from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours a day, every day. Doctors remove 50 batteries from woman’s intestines and stomach after she swallowed them to harm herself

Fry Electronics Team

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