First-Aid for Electric Shock

First Aid for Electric Shock

An electric shock can happen anywhere at any time and when you least expect it. Whether it is due to a faulty wire or an appliance becoming wet, it’s important that you know how to deal with these types of shocks since they are much different than regular burns.

The extent of the injury will all depend on the voltage, the current and how the current made its way throughout the body. The person’s general health must also be taken into account and all of these factors will determine the course of treatment.

In many cases the electrical shock will cause burns but sometimes the skin doesn’t show any visible marks at all. It is important to remember although there may not be any visible marks, it doesn’t mean that another type of injury such as cardiac arrest or internal damage has not occurred.

Even a small electrical shock can cause death. It’s very important to understand what you are dealing with when you see somebody that you suspect may have been shocked.

The first thing you need to do is assess the situation. If the person is still having any type of contact with an electrical current it’s important that you don’t touch them as could become electrocuted yourself. If you determine that the person is still in contact with the current, or has been struck by lightning or a wire carrying high voltage, it’s time to call 911 immediately.

If you see any wires sparking or jumping, you must remain at least 6 meters away from them. You won’t be able to help the person at all if you become shocked as well.

A call to 911 is also warranted if the person receiving the shock experiences any of the following:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe burns
  • Muscle contractions
  • Muscle pain
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Confusion

If the person can be attended to safely, you may need to perform CPR. You should also make sure that the person stays warm but if there is a burn involved do not cover them with a blanket. The fibers on the blanket can stick to the burn, causing more damage.

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