From being struck by lightening, to touching a power line, or accidentally grabbing an exposed wire inside your home, there are several ways you can suffer injury from electrical shock. The extent of your injuries after an electrical shock will vary upon the voltage you were exposed to, your overall health, and how long you were exposed to the voltage.
If you or a loved one ever suffer from an electrical shock injury, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have.
What Should I Do If I Am Being Shocked by an Electrical Source?
Knowing what to do if you are being shocked, or see another person being shocked, can help you act quickly and avoid a serious injury. If you are being shocked, let go of the wire or source of electricity right away. Call emergency services, or if you are not able to because of an injury, ask someone near you to call 911. Stay where you are, unless you are still in danger, and wait for paramedics to arrive.
If you see another person being shocked, never touch the individual. Instead, turn off the source of electricity, if possible. Otherwise, try to move the electricity source with an object that does not conduct electricity, such as a piece of wood or rubber. Only approach the individual after it is safe for you to do so.
What Are Some Symptoms of Electric Shock?
The symptoms associated with electric shock will vary depending upon the severity of the voltage and the amount of time the individual was in contact with the electrical source. Some symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle contractions
Some of the external symptoms associated with electrical shock, such as burns, may take several days to completely appear.
How Should I Treat Electric Shock at Home?
The injuries associated with electric shock can be internal and external, including burns. Treating electric burns at home will help the burns heal properly and prevent infection. Here are a few tips to help you care for electrical burns at home:
- Keep the burned area clean and dry. Clean the area as directed by your physician with soap and water. Pat the area dry before applying a fresh bandage.
- Change the bandages often. Prevent further injury by using non-stick gauze and a healing ointment, if directed by a physician.
- Avoid itching the healing burns. The healing burn may itch, but you should avoid itching it to prevent further damage.
Watch for signs of infection, including increased redness around the injury and a fever. Remember to always consult a doctor about electrical injury care.
Electrical shocks can be life threatening and should always be taken seriously. Don't hesitate to contact your doctor with any other questions you have about electrical shock.