Electricity can be harmful and even fatal. The level of injury from an electrical shock normally depends on several factors like current, voltage and overall health of the victim. When a person receives an electrical shock from incredibly high voltage, this often leads to death. Contact 911 immediately when you come across a victim of such an incident. It’s also important to learn the latest first aid and CPR rescue techniques in order to be able to provide effective help in the situation.
The material posted on this page on this page on electric shock is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage victims of electric shock and the accompanied burns register for a first aid and / or CPR course with one of our training providers.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are numerous symptoms but the main ones are:
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
- Muscle pain
How Are Electrical Shock Victims Treated?
When still waiting for help to arrive, it’s advisable to do the following in order to help the victim:
- Avoid endangering your own life. Many rescuers put their own lives at peril while trying to save a victim of electrical current. Make sure that the source of the current has been switched off before touching the victim. Use non-conductors like wood in case you need to remove a live wire from the victim’s body.
- Call for assistance. When you dial 911, describe the situation to the operator for instructions in helping the victim. You’ll receive relevant information for handling the particular case successfully. On the other hand, you can also call a neighbor or friend for help if you’re not experienced / confident in dealing with victims of electrical shock.
- Check the consciousness of victim. Make sure that the victim is still breathing while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. In case the victim losses consciousness and stops breathing, perform CPR.
- Avoid moving the victim. After you’ve successfully disconnected the source of the current, leave the victim where you found him/her. You can provide a pillow for support but always ensure that movements are kept minimal. This is because injuries can easily occur which will consequently worsen the condition.
- Keep the electrical shock victim warm. Providing a blanket will suffice. Also, do not leave the victim alone until the paramedics arrive on the scene. This will create fear and panic which aggravate the situation by putting the victim in shock.
- Reassure the victim.
Electrical Shock Prevention
The steps in order to prevent electrical shock depends on the age group in question.
When dealing with children less than 12, inspect extension cords in the house. They do not yet fully understand the risk involved and may unknowingly touch exposed lines. Parents should caution their young ones against playing with electrical cords.
When dealing with children aged 12 and above, explain the dangers of climbing on power lines. This is an age group that is more likely to suffer from an electrical shock due to cheeky behavior. Playing close to transformers should be strictly forbidden.
When dealing with adults, advocate for proper common sense usage. Handling electrical systems in the required manner will eliminate all chances of potential accidents. Caution must be exercised in outdoor situations particularly when a thunderstorm is present.