A seven-year-old boy has died after swallowing a button battery while on holiday in Portugal.
The family – from Payerne, Switzerland – had been spending the winter break in the country when the incident happened around Christmas time.
The victim – named only as Jose in reports – was taken to a hospital in Coimbra, where he was operated on but died on 14th January.
His grieving mother told local media: “The surgeons were able to remove the battery, but my son later died of vasculitis.”
Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels.
He was buried at a cemetery in Zambujal on 17th January with his devastated parents and sister in attendance.
Officials in Switzerland report that in most button battery ingestion cases, the objects pass through the body and are eliminated in the stool 24 to 96 hours later.
Eighty to 95 per cent of those affected show no symptoms.
However, in rare cases, there can be severe or fatal consequences.
Complications include damage to the oesophageal mucosa or even perforation of the oesophagus.
Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, vomiting, hypersalivation, suffocation, coughing or even respiratory distress.
Jose’s school has offered counselling to any students distressed by their friend’s sudden death.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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