Presenter:- Dr Soreingam Ragui, PGT
Dr Kh. Pradipkumar Singh, Demonstrator
Dr Th. Meera, Associate Professor
Department of Forensic Medicine,
Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal
Electrocution:- Passage of a substantial electrical
current through the tissue which can cause skin
lesions, organ damage and death
Injury and death from passage of an electric current
through the body are common in both industrial and
INCIDENCE OF ELECTROCUTION DEATHS :
Developed country like the US:- Consumer product
associated electrocution) during 2002 to 2008 =432
Developing country like India (NCRB):-
In 2008 = 8067 deaths
In 2009 = 8539 deaths i.e. 2.4 % of All Accidental
Aim of the study
To study the incidence of electrocution deaths .
To detect the common source of electrocution.
To study the pattern of injuries sustained.
Materials & methods
Study design : Descriptive.
Study period : Retrospective study from 1st Jan 2007 to
31st Dec 2011(5 Yrs.).
Materials : History, police papers and post mortem
Methods : Analysis of the Medico legal reports of
2463 cases brought for autopsy at the Regional
Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal during the said
The widespread commercial utilization of electrical
power has been associated with a rapid increase of
both fatal and non fatal injuries.
In our study, male accounted for 92.30 % of the cases
which is in consistence with the findings of other
workers viz. Sheikhazadi A et al, J Forensic Med Pathol
2010 (96.6%),Wick R et al Med Sci Law 2006 (91%) &
Bharath K et al JIAFM 2012 (91.93%) .
This predominance of males is attributed to more
association of males with electrical appliance and with
its repair much more than their female counterparts.
The most common age group in this study was 21-
30 yrs (53.84 %) and electrocution was very rare in
both extremes of ages.
This age group is the most active phase in life
with higher chances of exposure to risk.
Similar finding were also noted by different
workers in different part of the country by
Bharath K et al JIAFM 2012 , Gupta BD et al JIAFM
2012 & Shaha KK Med Sci Law 2010 .
Household accidental electrocution (78.06%) i.e. indoor
was observed by Dokov W in Varna Bulgaria Ulus Travma Acil
Cerrahi Derg 2010 .
Similar findings were observed by Byard RW in South
Australia Paediatr Child Health 2003 , Bharath K et al in Andhra
Pradesh JIAFM 2012 , India & B.D Gupta et al in Gujarat, India
JIAFM 2012 .
These findings are in contrast to the findings of our study
where most of the cases occurred outdoors(68%).
This may be attributed to the erratic power supply in the
State (only 2 – 3 hrs/day for domestic consumers) and poor
maintenance of electric cables in this part of the country
starting from using of bad quality wire, breakage which may
remain unattended on the road side leading to accidental
78.06% of the cases were accidental in a study by
Dokov W in Varna, Bulgaria Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg.
2010 whereas it was 61.86% in another study by Shaha
KK et al in Tamil Nadu, India Med Sci Law 2010 .
Interestingly, in the present series all the cases were
accidental in nature.
60.7% were dead on the scene and 31.9% were dead
on arrival at hospital (Sheikhazadi A et al) Am J
Forensic Med Pathol 2010 .
88% died immediately after the shock (Shaha KK)
Med Sci Law 2010 .
In our study, significant number of victims died
immediately following electric shock (92.30 %)
which may be compared with the findings of Rautji R
wherein 98.03 % died on the scene of the fatal event
and only 1.96 % died in hospital Med Sci Law 2003.
77.77 % of entry wound were in the upper limb and
43.75 % of exit wound in the lower limb by Bharath k
et al JIAFM 2012. Similar findings were observed by
Tirasci Y Tohoku J Exp Med 2006 and Sheikhazadi A et al
Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2010
We also observed that most of the Entry wounds were
on the right hand (48 %) and no entry or exit wounds
were present in 26.92 % .
Surprisingly high tension wire was the most common
source of electrocution in our study with 53.85 % and
flash burn was the most common type of electrical
burn seen (60%) which is in sharp contrast to other
studies where the most common source were usually
household electrical appliances (Byard RW Paediatric
Child Health. 2003 , Bharath K et al JIAFM 2012.)
The danger of getting electrocuted from the lowly
installed high tension electric wires and haphazardly
fixed up electric supply wire without proper
maintenance in most parts of the State is indeed a
matter of concern.
However, electric supply system has been updated in
the previous year with the installation of underground
cables in some parts of the State and positive changes
are expected in the near future.
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