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Vėjūna Guzulaitytė, I k., 9 gr.
Electric shock occurs upon contact of a
(human) body with any source of
electricity that causes a sufficient
current through the skin, muscles, or
Adolescents and adults are prone to
high voltage shock caused by
mischievous exploration and exposure
at work. About 1,000 people in the
United States die each year as a result
of electrocution. Most of these deaths
are related to on-the-job injuries.
Many variables determine what injuries may occur, if
any. These variables include:
• the type of current (AC or DC);
• the amount of current (determined by the
voltage of the source and the resistance of the
• the pathway the electricity takes through the
If a person is going to help someone
who has sustained a high voltage
shock, he or she needs to be very
careful that they don't become a
second victim of a similar electrical
Children are not often seriously
injured by electricity. They are prone
to shock by the low voltage (110-220
volts) found in typical household
current. In children aged 12 years and
younger, household appliance
electrical cords and extension cords
caused more than 63% of injuries in
one study. Wall outlets were
responsible for 15% of injuries.
Lightening injuries, an unusual form of
electric shock, may show external
burns, but injure or kill due to cardiac
or respiratory arrest; neurologic injury
is common. Other injuries are due to
muscle contractions or trauma from
explosive forces (for example, tree sap
and fluid being superheated and trees
blown apart due to steam pressure).
• Other injuries. Consideration should be given
to the possibility of a spine injury. The person
may have internal injuries.
• Broken bones.
• Burn on the lip. The area has a red or dark,
Following a low-voltage shock, call the
doctor for the following reasons:
• If it has been more than 5 years since the
affected person's last tetanus booster;
• Burns that are not healing well;
• Burns with increasing redness, soreness, or
• Any electric shock in a woman who is
Following a low-voltage shock, a person go to the
Emergency Department for the following concerns:
• Any noticeable burn to the skin;
• Any period of unconsciousness;
• Any numbness, tingling, paralysis, vision,
hearing, or speech problems;
• Any electric shock if a woman is more than 20
• Any other worrisome symptoms.
The doctor may order various tests depending
on the history and physical examination. Tests
may include any or none of the following:
• Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG);
• Complete blood count;
• Urine test;
• CT scan.
Treatment of electric shock depends on the
severity of the burns or the nature of other
Burns are treated according to
– Minor burns may be treated with topical antibiotic
ointment and dressings.
– More severe burns may require surgery to clean
the wounds or even skin grafting.
– Severe burns on the arms, legs, or hands may
require surgery to remove damaged muscle or
Other injuries may require treatment.
– Eye injuries may require examination and
treatment by an ophthalmologist, an eye
– Broken bones require splinting, casting, or surgery
to stabilize the bones.
– Internal injuries may require observation or
– Do not allow children to play with any electrical
– Limit use of extension cords and be sure the cord
is rated for the current (measured in amps) that
will be drawn by the device being powered.
– Use outlet covers to protect infants from exploring
– Update old, ungrounded electrical outlets to
grounded (3-prong) systems. Replace outlets near
any water (sink, tub) with fused (GFCI) outlets.
• In children older than 12 years, most electrical
injuries result from exploring and activities
around high-power systems. Explain to
adolescent children that they should not climb
on power towers, play near transformer
systems, or explore electrified train rails or
other electrical systems.
• Use caution when outdoors during a
thunderstorm containing lightning. Protect
yourself from lightning strikes by seeking
shelter in a sturdy building or crouching low
and away from trees and metal objects if
Recovery from electric shock depends
on the nature and severity of the
injuries. The percentage of the body
surface area burned is the most
important factor affecting prognosis.