Wilderness: Electrical Injuries (cont.)
Electrical Injury Symptoms
- Source and ground burns caused by electric current may be second to third degree and limited in size. If the current passes along the skin, the tissue may have extensive partial thickness burns (second degree).
- People who have an electrical injury may be confused, be disoriented, suffer hearing loss, and feel weak.
- Severe cases involve heartbeat irregularities or cause the heart to stop, requiring immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Electrical Injuries Treatment
- Electrical burns should be treated appropriately.
- If the person with the electrical injury is near the power source (such as a live wire), do not approach. Call 911.
- Unconscious people with electrical injuries should be assessed for CPR needs.
- If significant electrical injury has occurred, the neck and back should be protected from further injury. Try to avoid moving the injured person.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/26/2016
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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