Coughing up blood: Girl, 12, dies after swallowing everyday object

A 12-year-old has died in agony after swallowing a tiny button battery.

Valeria Makarova was at first told by doctors it would pass through her naturally and to go home.

But soon the girl, from Russia, was in agony and coughing up blood.

Doctors could not spot the mini lithium battery on an X-ray, but it was wedged dangerously in her oesophagus.

Valeria, who had been changing the battery in her watch when the accident happened, died a week later when her “heart stopped”.

Valeria Makarova, 12, with her mother, Tatyana. The little girl was changing her watch's battery when tragedy struck. Source: Australscope/

Russian criminal investigators have opened a preliminary probe into the treatment she received at hospitals in her home town of Zhukovka, in the Bryansk Oblast, amid fears she was a victim of negligence.

“Her death is so painful, all the more because it was a terrible accident,” a family friend said.

“Valeria was changing a button battery in her watch and automatically put it in her mouth.

“She accidentally swallowed it.

“Her parents rushed to the local Zhukovka hospital, but there doctors said that it will go through naturally.”

The friend said her parents then took her to another hospital, but she was not able to be saved.

“This is a ridiculous death of a child, who had turned 12 on 5 May,” the friend said.

“I cannot believe this happened and Lerochka (Valeria) is no longer with us."

Another friend Elizaveta Smirnova posted: “The poor child was suffering for several days.

“She started to bleed.

“Doctors in Zhukovka sent her home because they didn’t find anything – and later the child died.”

A battery similar to the one swallowed by Valeria. Source: Australscope

Swallowing lithium batteries is highly dangerous.

They can burn through tissues and often blood vessels within hours.

Perforation can happen after two hours struck in the oesophagus and is highly likely after eight hours.

Valeria was an only child for parents Tatiana, 31, and Sergey, 33.

Earlier this month her mother posted on the girl’s 12th birthday.

“The moment you appeared in our lives will remain in our memory forever as the most joyful day,” she said.

“We will always help you, and listen, and support you.

“We are so happy to be your mum and dad.”

– Australscope

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