Peoria, Ill.,
13:18 PM

Health Highlights: Battery safety and remote monitoring program

Mumbu Family and Dr. Daniel Robertson

'Tis the season of sharing. Both gifts and germs. 

Right now, your child may be writing Santa Claus for gifts, some of which may include battery-powered items. 

However, these can pose health hazards to young children. 

An Illinois family issues a warning after their child swallowed a tiny lithium battery.

“She was struggling with something that was stuck in her esophagus and starting to show signs of discomfort and pain," says Joseph Mumbu, father of Liana Mumbu who swallowed a tiny lithium battery.

“Time is of the essence." emphasizes Dr. Daniel Robertson, a surgeon with OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois.

Quickly, Joseph rushed Liana to a hospital of Canton, Illinois. The team there quickly contacted the OSF Care-Hub, who alerted Dr. Robertson. 

An ambulance ride and a trip to the operating room at OSF Children's Hospital led to Dr. Robertson operating and saving Liana's life. 

Dr. Robertson emphasizes that saliva can cause an electrical current, burning the esophagus within two hours. Quick removal is crucial to prevent irreversible damage.

1 year-old with viral illness

A year ago, an early season start to respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, prompted OSF OnCall to launch an at-home monitoring program for infants to 5-year-olds with the virus. 

RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations for infants and children. 

Now, OSF has expanded the program to include remote monitoring and 24/7 support for all pediatric respiratory viruses.

“They love having support anytime in the day, however they want to do it – text message, phone call, anything. They can send us pictures. We've really kind of taken that to tailor what parents need to feel comfortable taking their children home, you know, from a clinic; from the hospital during the scary time," says Rose Smith, Clinical Digital Care Supervisor with OSF OnCall.

A medical provider must confirm a diagnosis and make a referral to the program. Call or visit your child's pediatrician to get started.

The National Safety Council says each year, more than 3,500 people swallow lithium batteries. 

Another big warning, don't induce vomiting but instead get to your nearest hospital emergency department.

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