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

Electrical Injury

Alternate Names : Electrical Shock, High-Voltage Electric Shock

Electrical Injury | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

First aid treatment for electrical injury includes the following:

  • If possible, shut off the electric current by unplugging the cord, removing the appropriate fuse from the fuse box, or turning off the circuit breakers.
  • Do not touch the person with bare hands while he or she is still in contact with the electrical source. If the current cannot be turned off, an object that does not conduct electricity can be used to push the source of the current away from the person or to push the person away from the source. A broom, chair, rug, or something rubber is a good choice. A wet object or a metal object would probably conduct electricity, causing the helper to get shocked.
  • Try to move the person while standing on something dry that does not conduct electricity. Failing to follow these measures can injure the helper.
  • Check for signs of circulation, such as normal breathing, coughing, or movement in response to stimulation.
  • Contact the emergency medical system immediately.
  • Start cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, if the person stops breathing. Use 15 chest compressions for every 2 mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths.
  • Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
  • Avoid moving the victim's head or neck after laying him or her down. The neck and back should not be bent unless the rescuer is certain that there are no other major injuries.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    The chest compressions of CPR can cause vomiting, injuries to internal organs, or broken ribs. Vomiting can be a problem if the vomit is caught in the airway and inhaled into the lungs.

    Moving a person to treat him or her can cause further damage if there is an internal injury, such as a fractured vertebrae, which is a break in the bone that surrounds the spinal cord.

    What happens after treatment for the injury?

    A person who receives an electrical injury should be seen by a healthcare professional. It is important to check for injury to body organs such as the brain and heart.

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    Electrical Injury: Prevention & Expectations


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

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