Managing a child who swallows a battery, for the USMLE
The most worrisome sequelae of this problem is severe corrosive injury as well as liquefaction necrosis. For these reasons, it is imperative that a swallowed battery be removed as quickly as possible.
First step is to do an xray to determine both the type of battery and the location of the battery.
Once an xray gives you this information, a bronchoscopy should be done to both visualize and remove the battery.
Endocscopic removal is ideal because it provides the best chances of removal without tissue damage due to alkaline solutions from the battery, without heavy metal damage, and without the possibility of local electric discharge from the battery.