An electric shock can happen to anybody regardless of how careful they thought they are. Most times, it occurs as an accident or an error in judgement. The danger from an electrical shock depends on the type of current, how high the voltage is, how the current traveled through the body, the person’s overall health and how quickly the person is treated. Irrespective of the situation, dealing with an electric shock usually depends on a number of factors from the amount of voltage to the health condition of the victim prior to the event.
An electrical shock may cause burns, or it may leave no visible mark on the skin. In either case, an electrical current passing through the body can cause internal damage, cardiac arrest or other injury. Under certain circumstances, even a small amount of electricity can be fatal.
The following tips would be useful if a situation like that occurs.
- Look first. Don’t touch. The person may still be in contact with the electrical source. Touching the person may pass the current through you.
- Turn off the source of electricity if possible. If not, move the source away from you and the affected person, using a nonconducting object made of cardboard, plastic or wood.
- Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If absent, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately
- Prevent shock. Lay the person down and, if possible, position the head slightly lower than the trunk, with the legs elevated.
- Apply a bandage. Cover any burned areas with a sterile gauze bandage, if available, or a clean cloth. Don’t use a blanket or towel, because loose fibers can stick to the burns.
- Depending on the intensity of the shock, the victim might suffer some of the following conditions of which a call should be made to the nearest hospital for help.The conditions include:
- Severe burns
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart rhythm problems
- Cardiac arrest
- Muscle pain and contractions
- Loss of consciousness
- Numbness and tingling