When you come in direct contact with an electric current, an electric shock happens that passes through your body and causes injuries. The severity of the injury depends on how high the voltage is and how quickly the person is treated. Electrical injuries are dangerous.
These kinds of injuries can be external or internal. You can have both types of injury. In internal injuries, your organs, bones, muscles, and nerves may get damaged and skin burns in external injuries. Electrical injuries can range from small skin burns to life-threatening damages.
The causes of an electric shock are:
- Power lines
- Lightning strikes
- Electric machinery
- Electric weapons
- Faulty household appliances
- Faulty electrical appliances
- Electrical outlets
- Electric Shock
The effect of an electric shock include:
- The contact time period with the source
- Overall health
- The current flowing path through your body
- Type of current either AC or DC
An alternating current usually supplied by household electrical outlets in the US and Europe. It changes direction frequently. Direct current flows in the same direction constantly. So, an alternating current is more harmful than a direct current. AC causes muscle spasms that make it harder to drop the source of electricity.
If your body resistance is high, more electrical current may be immoderate at the skin, which leads to large skin burns. If your body resistance is low, more electrical current is transmitted to the internal organs of the body. Thus, if there are not any external burns it does not mean that there is not an injury. The injury by electricity is not predictable.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
The symptoms of an electric shock depend on the intensity of it. Symptoms of an electric shock are:
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle spasms
- Breathing problems
- Vision problems
- Hearing problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Other blunt force injuries
Electric shocks can lead to serious health problems. It can also cause compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is not noticeable immediately after the shock. So keep monitoring your arms and legs following a shock.
When young children bite or suck on extension cords they can burn their mouth and lips. Such burns may impair the growth of the teeth, mandible, and maxilla.
SEEK EMERGENCY CARE
Call 911 or your local emergency number if the injured person undergoes the following conditions:
- Severe burns
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
- Cardiac arrest
- Muscle pain and contractions
- Loss of consciousness
Some actions you have to perform immediately while waiting for medical help:
- Turn off the source of electricity.
- Move the source away from you and the person, using plastic, or wood.
- Begin CPR if the person can not breathe, or move.
- Try to prevent the injured person from becoming chilled.
- Apply a bandage.
- Cover any burned areas with a gauze bandage or a clean cloth.
- Don’t use a blanket or towel, it can stick to the burns.
- If you or anyone gets an electrical injury, you should see a doctor. You may not realize any damage but it is there in your body.
- If the person is still in contact with the electrical current, don’t touch the injured person.
- Call 911 or your local emergency number if the current is high-voltage.
- If the source of the electric shock is high voltage lightning, look for emergency care.
- Don’t get near high-voltage wires until the power is turned off.
- Stay away (at least 20 feet), if wires are sparking.
- Cause of Electrical Accident
Once the person is away from the current your doctor can carry out some tests. The person can be examined from head to toe for traumatic injuries. If the person is fell or thrown away, ECG, cardiac enzyme measurement, and urinalysis are mandatory.
Patients with impaired consciousness required CT or MRI. When the person stops breathing or experiences difficulty in breathing, CPR is a way to treat that person.
Even if the electrical injuries look minor, it may cause internal damage. The electric shock treatments depend upon how strong the electric current was, the type of current, how it flows through your body, and how healthy you are.
For any serious shocks, a doctor may recommend getting admitted to the hospital, so they can monitor you.
- Apply antibiotic ointment
- Burns treatment
- Sterile dressings
- Pain medication
- Intravenous fluids
- Tetanus shot
- Heart Treatment (Cardiac)
Sometimes electric shocks can have lasting effects on your body as well as health. Burns can leave scars on your skin. If the electrical current goes through your eyes, cataracts can take place.
Also, some shocks can cause ongoing pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness due to intense electric shock.
Electric shocks can be very harmful, so it’s important to look for help or call 911 as soon as possible.
Whether the shock is major or minor, see a doctor. You can visit Specialty Care Clinics. Our specialists provide excellent health care and help you recover. Meet our expert Neurologists or Cardiologists Dr. Yaqub for the best treatment.