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Dealing with Electrical Burns

If a family member or a colleague at work suffers from an electrical burn, do you know what to do?

When an individual comes into contact with electricity, an electric shock occurs. As electricity flows into a portion of the body, it causes a trauma, which in turn may result in no injuries at all or significant damage – or death. Electrical burns are the most common injury resulting from electric shock.

Understanding Electrical Burns

Electrical burns can occur as a result of accidental contact or exposure to lightning, low-voltage, or high-voltage electric current. The severity of the damage generally depends on the size of the victim, the duration of exposure, and the strength of electricity that passed through the body.

Electrical Burns: Emergency Care

Electrical burns can result in damage to the skin, tissues, and major organs in the body which can either be permanent or temporary. The treatment for electrical burns will depend on the extent of injuries.

If you want to help a person suffering from electric shock, don’t take the risk and endanger yourself. Never attempt to touch or move the person away if the victim is still in contact with the electric current. Instead, contact emergency medical services right away. While waiting for the medical responders, here is a list of things that you can do:

  • Locate the power source and turn it off when possible.
  • Use a non-conductor object such as wood, plastic, or cardboard to move the electric source away.
  • If the person stops breathing or shows no signs of circulation (movement, breathing, or coughing), provide resuscitation immediately.
  • To prevent further damage, lay down the victim carefully with the head slightly lower than his or her trunk, and the legs high up.
  • Cover the affected or burned areas with a sterile bandage or clean cloth.
  • Monitor and record the vital signs of the victim and provide the information immediately to the emergency responder upon arrival.

Here is a video showing emergency management and treatment of electrical injuries. Be sure to watch the video – this may save you or your family’s life one day.

Electrician's Journal

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