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Electrical Burns (part II)

Treatment:

  1. If it is possible shut of the electrical current from its source.
  2. Call for medical help.
  3. If the current can’t be turned off, use a non conducting object such as a wooden broom, rug, and chair to push the victim away from the source of the current. Don’t use anything that conducts current like wet or metal objects and if possible stand on a dry and non-conducting object.
  4. Once the victim is free from the source of electricity; check his or her airway, breathing and pulses, if the victim isn’t breathing and is not responsive, it may be necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  5. If the victim has any signs of shock eg, pale, lay the victim down with the feet raised and cover the victim with a blanket to maintain body heat. Avoid moving the victim’s head or neck if there is suspicion of spinal cord injury.
  6. If the victim has an exit wound, cover it with a clean, sterile bandage.
  7. All patients with electrical burns should be taken to the hospital for further evaluation as there may be concealed internal injuries.

Things to be avoided:

  1. Don’t attempt to rescue a victim near active high-voltage lines.
  2. Don’t apply any butter, ointments, ice, or adhesive bandages to the burn.
  3. If the victim has burns, don’t break blisters or remove dead skin as this may lead to more damage and increase the risk of infection.
  4. Don’t touch the victim with your bare hands while the person is still in contact with the source of electricity.
  5. Don’t move any victim of electrical injury unless there is immediate danger such as fire because the victim may have internal injuries.

Prevention:

  1. Use child safety plugs in all electrical outlets.
  2. Don’t use electrical equipments near running water or when wet.
  3. Keep electrical cords out of reach of children and don’t let children suck or chew on them.
  4. Teach children the danger of electricity.
  5. Avoid electrical hazards by following manufactures safety instructions when using electrical appliances.
  6. Always turn off circuit breakers before making any repairs to wiring.
  7. Never touch electrical appliances while touching faucets or cold water pipes.

The human body conducts electricity. When the electrical current passes through body tissues it generates heat due to the resistance applied by the tissues, this heat may cause burns and extensive damage to internal organs.

Muscle contraction may happen when the external current is conducted by the nerves to the muscles; this contraction is involuntary and may lead the person to be frozen for a while. If the skeletal muscle contraction is severe, it may lead to bone fractures.

Electrical current may cause the heart to beat irregularly or it may cause it to stop beating.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.