Doctors in Ireland recently retrieved more than 50 AA and AAA batteries from the gut and stomach of a 66-year-old lady who had ingested them in an apparent act of willful self-harm.
LiveScience, citing an Irish Medical Journal article, that the lady was treated at St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin after consuming an unknown number of cylindrical batteries. According to specialists, her X-ray detected foreign objects in her body, but none appeared to be blocking her gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and no batteries showed symptoms of structural damage.
Initially, physicians waited for the patient to pass the batteries naturally through her body. For a week, the patient even managed to pass five AA batteries. However, X-rays performed over the next three weeks revealed that most were still trapped within, and the woman began to develop stomach pain.
According to the experts, the bloated stomach ended up hanging above the pubic bone due to the weight of the batteries. The scientists then cut a tiny incision in the stomach and extracted 46 batteries from the organ, including AA and AAA batteries.
According to LiveScience, the four remaining batteries in her colon were “milked” into her rectum and extracted through the anus. This raised the total number of batteries consumed to 55. A final X-ray scan verified that the woman’s GI tract was battery-free, and she had an “uneventful recovery.”
“To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the highest reported number of batteries ingested at a single point in time,” the doctors said as per the outlet.
“The deliberate ingestion of multiple large AA batteries as a form of deliberate self-harm is an unusual presentation,” they added.
The researchers further said that the act can result in serious problems such as “mucosal damage, perforation, and blockage.”
“The potential of cylindrical batteries to result in acute surgical emergencies should not be underestimated,” doctors stated.