Easy removal

Removing tiny batteries lodged in children's ears or other body openings can be a difficult, painful task, but a letter in the Dec. 26 Journal of the American Medical Association suggests how to make the process easier on both the physician and the child.

The letter describes the treatment of a 9-year-old girl who had a miniature battery lodged in her ear canal by a 5-year-old playmate. Efforts to retrieve the battery with forceps were unsuccessful and painful, but a magnetized screwdriver borrowed from a hospital maintenance person painlessly snared the battery on the first try.

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