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First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock – Causes, Sources, Severity

First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock is a life saving deal. A timely given first aid can increase the survival chances of an Electrical Shock victim. This post will discuss What is Electric Shock, its causes, sources, symptoms, severity and First aid treatment in Electric Shock for self, others and minors

What is Electric Shock

Electric shock is a state when electric current passes through the body causing injury or trauma. It has the capacity to damage internal as well as external tissues and can even lead to entire organ failure.

Introduction to Electric Shock

Fig. 1 – Introduction to Electrical Shock

What Causes Electric Shock

An electric shock occurs when a person comes in contact with an electrical source. The electrical energy that flows through the body causes a shock. Exposure to electrical energy may result in devastating damage or death.

What Causes Electric Shock

Fig. 2 – What Causes Electric Shock

Common Sources of Electric Shock

A range of things can cause an electrical shock, including:

  • Power lines
  • Lightening
  • Electrical Machinery
  • Electrical Weapons
  • Household Appliances
  • Electrical Equipment

Factors Determining Severity of Injury in Electric Shock

The factors that play major role in determining the severity of the injury are:

  • Source of Shock
  • Voltage
  • Length of Time in contact with the source
  • Overall Health
  • Electricity’s path through your body
  • Type of current

Effect of Electric Shock on Human Body

Fig. 3 – Effect of Electrical Shock on Human Body

Note: An alternating current is more harmful than a direct current as it causes muscle spasms that make it harder to drop the source of electricity.

Electric Shock Symptoms

The hands, heels and head are most common points of contact. A person who has suffered electrical shock may show:

  1. Little/More Evidence of Injury– A person might be thrown clear of the electric source by forceful muscle contraction. Pain in hand or foot or deformity of body part may indicate a possible broken bone resulting from electrical shock.
  2. Mild/Serious Burns – Burns are usually more severe at the point of contact.
  3. Cardiac Arrest – A human heart is a muscle controlling blood flow throughout the body. The rhythm of the heart is maintained through electrical impulse. If the electrical current passes through the person’s heart, these electrical impulses gets disturbed and affects the functioning of the heart, which may at times results in cardiac arrest.
  4. Internal Injuries -The person may have internal injuries especially if he or she suffers from shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain.

Severity of Injury in Electrical Shock

Fig. 4 – Symptoms of Electric Shock

First Aid Treatment in Electrical Shock

If someone has suffered an electrical shock, you may not require emergency treatment but you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Internal damage from electrical shock is often hard to detect without a thorough medical examination.

A person who first witnesses the mishap should become the First aid provider. In addition to calling nearest medical facility, following is advised as First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock:

  • Separate the person from the current source or turn off the power keeping in mind your own safety.
  • Unplug the appliance if plug is undamaged or shut off power via circuit breaker or outside switch.
  • If you can’t turn off the power, stand on something dry and non conductive such as dry newspaper, telephone book or wooden board. Try to separate the person from current using non conductive objects such as wooden or plastic broom handle, chair and rubber doormats.
  • If high voltage lines are involved, inform local power company to cut off the supply.
  • If the person is not breathing, seek help in administering the CPR.
  • Check for other injuries.
  • If there is bleeding from arm or leg, apply pressure and elevate the wound.
  • Don’t raise the person’s head.
  • Try to prevent the person from becoming cold.
  • Apply clean cloth.

First Aid Treatment in Electrical Shock

Fig. 5 – First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock

Scenarios of First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock

Below are given a few scenarios of First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock to consider.

First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock when You are Victim

  • Let go of the electric source as soon as you can.
  • Call local emergency services, if you are not in a position to make a call, yell for someone else around you.
  • Don’t move unless you need to move.

First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock when Someone Else is Victim

  • Don’t touch the person if he or she is still in contact with the electric source.
  • Don’t move the person who has been shocked unless they are in danger of further shock.
  • Stay 20ft away if a person has been shocked by high powered electrical lines that are still on.
  • Call local emergency services if the person has been struck by lightning.
  • Call local emergency services if a person has trouble breathing, loses consciousness, has seizures, has muscle pain or numbness or is experiencing symptoms of heart issue.
  • Check person’s breathing and pulse.
  • Elevate the victim’s legs and feet slightly If the person is showing symptoms of shock such as vomiting or becoming faint or pale.
  • Cover the burns with a sterile gauge.
  • Keep the person warm.

First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock for a Minor

  • Provide the first aid as suitable. If the child is not breathing or there is no heartbeat then CPR is required. However, provide it mildly. Do not hard press.
  • See a doctor as soon as you can even if there aren’t any noticeable symptoms.
  • In the meantime, you can cover the burn (if any) with sterile gauge.

First Aid Treatment If a Minor Receives an Electric Shock

Fig. 6 – First Aid Treatment in Electric Shock for Minor

Do Electric Shocks have Any Long Term Impact

Some electric shocks can have lasting impact on your health. Serious burns can cause permanent scars. If the current have passed through the eyes, a person can be left with cataract. Some shocks can cause ongoing pain, tingling and numbness, muscles weakness due to internal injuries.

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Ankita Khare
Ankita Khare
Ankita is a Masters in English Literature and has extensive work experience in teaching. She also conducts "Brain Development program for kids. She is an Author, Editor and Partner at Electricalfundablog.


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