Health

Electric Shock: First Aid-Mayo Clinic

The risk of electric shock depends on the type of current, the high voltage, how the current flows through the body, the overall health of the person, and the speed of treatment of the person.

You may get burned or leave no marks on your skin due to electric shock. In either case, the current flowing through the body can cause damage, cardiac arrest, or other injuries within the body. Under certain circumstances, even a small amount of electricity can be fatal.

When to contact the doctor

People who are injured by contact with electricity should see a health care provider.

Note

  • Do not touch the injured who are still in contact with the electric current.
  • If the cause of the burn is a high voltage line or lightning, call 911 or your nearest emergency number. Keep away from high voltage lines until the power is turned off. Overhead power lines are usually not isolated. If the wires are jumping and scattering sparks, stay at least 20 feet away.
  • Do not move an electrocuted person unless there is an imminent danger.

When to seek emergency medical care

If the injured experience any of the following, call 911 or your nearest emergency number.

  • Severe burns
  • confusion
  • Dyspnea
  • Arrhythmia problem
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Myalgia and contraction
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Take these actions immediately while waiting for medical assistance:

  • If possible, turn off the power. If not, use a dry, non-conductive object made of paperboard, plastic, or wood to keep the source away from you or the injured.
  • If there are no signs of circulation such as breathing, coughing, or movement, start CPR.
  • Keep the injured from getting cold.
  • Wrap a bandage. If possible, cover the burnt area with a sterile gauze bandage or a clean cloth. Do not use blankets or towels. Loose fibers can adhere to burns.

From Mayo Clinic to Inbox

Sign up for free to stay up to date on research progress, health tips, current health topics such as COVID-19, and health care expertise.

We may combine your email and website usage information with other information about you in order to provide you with the most relevant and useful information and to understand which information is useful. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this may include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose the information contained in our Privacy Practices Notice. You can opt out of email communication at any time by clicking the email unsubscribe link.

Thank you for registering

Stay up to date with the latest health information in Housecall’s electronic newsletter.

I’m having problems with my subscription

Please try again in a few minutes

..

Back to top button