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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Electrical Injury
      Category : Health Centers > Injuries and Safety

Electrical Injury

Alternate Names : Electrical Shock, High-Voltage Electric Shock

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

An electrical injury occurs when the skin or internal organs are exposed to electric current.

What are the causes and risks of the injury?

The human body conducts electricity very well. Direct contact with an electrical current can be fatal. Although the cause of an electrical injury is often obvious, these injuries can be overlooked at the time they occur. Sometimes very severe electrical shocks look minor. Outwardly, the shock may only cause small burns. However, internal damage can be very serious.

The most easily damaged organs are the heart and the brain. Cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart stops beating, can occur if the beating mechanism of the heart is affected. There can also be significant muscle destruction from the current passing through the body.

Electrical injuries commonly occur when:

  • young children bite or chew on electrical appliances or cords
  • young children poke an object, a finger, or other part of the body into an electrical outlet
  • Anyone may be injured by:

  • accidental contact with exposed parts of electric appliances or wiring
  • electrical flashes from high-voltage power lines
  • electric machines
  • lightning


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    Electrical Injury: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/09/01

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