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Patient Safety Alert – Risk of harm

Patient Safety Alert – Risk of harm to babies and children from coin/button batteries in hearing aids and other hearing devices

 

NHS England and NHS Improvement recently issued a National Patient Safety Alert relating to the risk of harm to babies and children from batteries in hearing aids and other hearing devices. If they are swallowed or inserted into nostrils/ear canals they can cause serious injury. While the alert targets NHS organisations, it is important that all organisations that provide hearing aids and hearing aid batteries take action to prevent this risk of harm.

While this won’t directly affect Local Engagement services it is important to be aware of the risks batteries can pose, especially to babies and young children, but also people with additional risk factors such as those with a significant learning disability, dementia or other cognitive or sensory impairment. Everyone who wears hearing aids should keep their battery supply in a secure location especially if they live with or care for any people who are more at risk of harm from batteries. If any service users are particularly concerned, they should be advised to contact their audiologist to discuss secure battery compartments. These can only be opened with specific tools and prevent unintended access to a hearing aid battery while it is in a hearing aid.

National Patient Safety Alert – Risk of harm to babies and children from button batteries in hearing aids