Electric shock occurs if an individual is directly exposed to a source of electrical energy. The electrical energy flows via a part of the body, resulting to a shock. An exposure will not result to any injury or cause serious damage or even death.
An electric shock can arise from electrical wires, electrical appliances and even electrical circuitry.
What are the signs?
An individual who endured an electric shock might have minimal proof of injury or have serious burns. Some end up with cardiac arrest after being shocked or lightning strike.
- Burns are generally serious at the area of exposure with the source of electricity and the ground. The heels, hands and head are the usual sites of contact.
- Other injuries are likely if the individual has been thrown away from the electrical source by strong muscular contraction. Spinal injury is possible as well as other internal injuries if he/she is suffering from chest pain, shortness of breath or stomach pain.
- The discomfort if the foot or hand or irregularity of a region in the body might be a possible fracture due to the violent muscular contraction.
- Among children, the usual electrical mouth burns after biting on an electrical cord manifests as a burn on the lip. The affected area has a reddened or darkened, charred appearance.
- The individual should be assessed for entry and exit marks to determine the severity of the electric shock.
- Some individuals might end up with cardiac arrest after an electric shock.
Medical care for electric shock
The treatment for electric shock is based on the seriousness of the burns or nature of other injuries present.
Burns are managed based on their seriousness such as:
- Minor burns can be managed with an antibiotic ointment applied topically along with dressings.
- For severe burns, surgery is necessary to cleanse the wounds or even grafting of the skin.
- If there are serious burns on the legs, arms or hands, surgery is performed to remove the injured muscle or even amputation.
Other types of injuries that might require treatment include:
- For eye injuries, it requires further assessment and treatment by an eye specialist.
- For fractures or broken bones, it requires casting, splinting or even surgery to secure any damaged bones.
- Internal injuries might require further observation or even surgical intervention.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on electric shock is for learning purposes only. Learn more about the possible causes and how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.