Electrocution causes over 140,000 fires each year, resulting in an additional 400 deaths, 4,000 injuries, and lots of property damage. This unfortunate electricity hazard is one in which most people still don’t know how to handle, and first aid knowledge in the event of electrocution is apparently not-so-common knowledge.
Here we will be discussing the steps to take to minimize casualty in the event of electrocution.
Avoid Direct Physical Contact With The Person Being Electrocuted
In a lot of cases, well-meaning people also get electrocuted when trying to rescue an electrocuted victim by touching the victim or making contact with the victim with a material that easily conducts electricity. The first step in saving someone being electrocuted is to try to remain calm and use NON-ELECTRICITY CONDUCTORS (i.e dry wood) to separate the victim from the power source.
Put Off All Power Source
If it is within your control, it is advised to put off all power supply in the surroundings and completely cut out power to avoid further damage. You can even go as far as removing your fuses and making sure the surrounding is completely off-grid.
Dry-Out The Surroundings
Water is a remarkably good conductor of electricity and it will be wise to clear all forms of moisture in the environment of an electrocution to avoid further damage. This is also a wise precaution to avoid electrocution as water and electric wires should never be in close proximity. Do NOT pour water on the electrocuted victim.
Immediately Call For Medical Care
There is only so much one can do with limited medical experience and that is why your next line of action should be to call an ambulance or the closest medical center. The medical team has the experience and equipment to manage the situation and your sole duty should be to make sure the victim is in the best possible condition to receive treatment from the medical team. This is why the first call be made after the event of an electrocution should be to the MEDICAL team and not the local electricity distribution company. The DisCo, however, has a role to play in making sure their equipment do not pose any safety hazard to its customers. It is also noteworthy that calling the medical team is still important even when the victim is conscious and appears unhurt. It is the duty of medical practitioner NOT the victim, to confirm the extent of physical or psychological damage an electrocution may cause.
Finally, Provide Helpful Information to the Medical Team Arriving At The Scene
Paramedics often work better with appropriate information, hence it is important to be calm in the middle of the chaos and make some relevant observations in the event of an electrocution and then carefully narrate these key observations to the medical team at the scene. Often times, electrocuted victims often suffer concussions to the head and other injuries as a result of the sudden collapse they experience after electrocutions. If you observed the event of an electrocution first hand, then appropriate information can help inform the paramedics on the right form of first-aid to be carried out. That piece of information might just be life-saving.