Electrical burns involve the direct passage of electric current through the body by getting in contact with a live electrical current. Take note that the effects of electrical burns are not visible since they are mostly interior damage.
Some of the signs of electrical burns are apparent on the surface of the skin in the form of exit wounds. Always bear in mind that serious complications can be caused by electrical burns. With this in mind, it is important that you know what to do since it will not only help save a life but also keep you out of harm.
Heart failure and shock are some of the complications that can develop if an individual suffered from an electrocution. How you react to help out an individual in this situation can make the difference between life and death.
Turn off the power source
Your initial move before doing anything is to turn off the power source. Do not touch the individual until the power has been disconnected. In case the individual is still in contact with the power source, you can end up electrocuted as well. Try to push away the power line or wire that caused the electrocution using a dry wooden stick or any non-conductive tool.
Call for emergency assistance
You should call for emergency assistance so that the appropriate interventions can be performed on the individual. Time is vital for the survival of the individual. You have to stay on the phone with the emergency personnel until the ambulance will arrive. You can assist on the phone by relaying the vital signs of the individual such as the pulse rate and breathing.
An important tip to remember is to elevate the feet slightly higher than the head, but avoid moving the individual.
Necessary steps to take when dealing with electrical burns
If the individual is not breathing or unresponsive, it is best to perform CPR. This is one reason why it is important to enroll in a first aid course so that you will learn the basics on CPR.
Always remember that the individual can go into shock from the accident, thus you have to assure him/her that everything is going to be alright. Explain that help is on the way. Cover the individual with a blanket in order to retain the body heat.
In case the individual has an exit wound from the electrical burn, you have to cover it with a clean sterile bandage. Avoid applying any ointment or expose the wound to water. Once the emergency team arrives, they are skilled in handling these injuries.
It is important to call for emergency assistance right after the accident if the individual is experiencing breathing difficulties, headaches and soreness in the body. An electrocution can oftentimes throw the body from the point of contact. As a result, it often leads to broken bones, cuts or bruises and even head injuries.