Electrical Injuries: Its cause, diagnose, rescue and first aid treatment
If any part of the body comes in contact with an exposed (with loss of its insulation) live wire, electric shock occurs. Faulty electrical connections or blowing out of switches or fuses can cause such injury. The danger is greater if the floor or one’s body is wet. In wet conditions even lower voltage may be dangerous. An electric shock may just cause a jolt, burns both it enters the body and where it leaves the body to the earth, or be severe enough to cause cardiorespiratory arrest and death. Touching overhead tension cables is usually immediately fatal.
The condition is diagnosed by the following features.
- Redness, swelling, and charring of skin are seen at points of both the entry and exit.
- There may be superficial or deep burns.
- There may be a cardiac arrest.
- There may be a respiratory arrest.
- There is cyanosis if the cardiac activity continues while there is a respiratory arrest.
How to free the victim from the circuit immediately
- Switch off the current.
- If that is not possible, grasp the electric cord where it is not bare or wet and pull it from die socket.
- Avoid grounded objects.
- If neither of these methods can be used, stand on dry insulating material such as a box, a plastic or rubber mat and then remove the victim from contact with the wire using a dry wooden stick or dry towel.
- Place the victim on the ground, avoiding pressure on the burned surface.
- Clear the victim’s airway.
- Give artificial respiration if there is a respiratory arrest.
- Give external cardiac massage if there is a cardiac arrest.
- Get an assistant to loosen any tight clothing
- Clean and dress burnt areas.
- Treat fractures, if any.
- Shift him to a hospital immediately.