An electric shock occurs if an individual was exposed to an electrical source. A mild case that do not trigger any symptoms might not necessitate medical care. Nevertheless, an individual who endures a high voltage shock, lightning strike, shock with burns or other form of pain must be assessed by a doctor right away.
Self-care at home
A brief episode of low-voltage shock that do not result to any symptoms or burn on the skin do not necessitate medical attention. For a high-voltage electric shock or any case that results to burns, call for emergency assistance. If a child sustained an electric burn after biting a cord, it should be assessed by a doctor.
Medical care for an electric shock
The treatment for electric shock usually depends on the severity of the burns or the precise nature of the injuries.
Burns are managed based on severity
- Topical antibiotic ointments or dressings are used for minor burns.
- Severe burns might require surgery to clean the wounds or even perform skin grafting.
- If there are severe burns on the legs, arms or hands, surgery is required to get rid of the damaged muscle or even amputation.
For other injuries, they also require treatment.
- Fractures require the placement of a splint, cast or even surgery to stabilize the bones.
- Eye injuries require further assessment and treatment by an eye specialist.
- Internal injuries might require monitoring or surgery.
Recovery from an electric shock usually depends on the nature and severity of the injuries sustained. The percentage of the body surface that is burned is a vital factor that affects the prognosis.
If the individual who sustained an electric shock does not end up with immediate cardiac arrest and there are no severe burns, he/she is likely to survive.
It is important to note that infection is the usual cause of death among those who have been hospitalized after sustaining an electrical injury. If damage involves the brain, it can result to permanent seizure disorder, anxiety, depression or personality changes.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on electric shock is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage sudden medical emergencies including an electric shock by taking a standard first aid course with one of our training providers.