Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment admission criteria specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Electrocution Overview

Another name for Electrocution is Electrical Injury.

What is an electrical injury?
A person with an electrical injury has been injured by lightning or electricity. Electrical injuries range from minor burns to the skin, to damage to the internal organs. High-voltage electrical current tends to cause much more serious injuries than low-voltage electrical current. Electrical current that does not enter the body causes a burn to the skin or a mild shock. Serious injuries occur when the electrical current enters the body, passes through organs, and exits from another location. Death due to electrical injury is called electrocution. Electrical injuries cause about 1,000 deaths in the US each year.

What are the symptoms of an electrical injury?
Symptoms of an electrical injury include burns, confusion, chest pain, fainting, hearing loss, muscle aches, palpitations, breathing difficulty, tinnitus, vertigo, and numbness and weakness in the extremities.

How does the doctor treat an electrical injury?
Treatment for an electrical injury may include cardiac monitoring, intravenous fluids, burn care, narcotic pain medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Surgery may be required to treat severe electrical burns or manage fractures.

Continue to Electrocution Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Electrocution References
  1. Bailey B, Gaudreault P, Thivierge RL. Experience with guidelines for cardiac monitoring after electrical injury in children. Am J Emerg Med. 2000 Oct;18(6):671-5. [11043619]
  2. Blackwell N, Hayllar J. A three year prospective audit of 212 presentations to the emergency department after electrical injury with a management protocol. Postgrad Med J. 2002 May;78(919):283-5. [12151571]
  3. Danielson JR, Capelli-Schellpfeffer M, Lee RC. Upper extremity electrical injury. Hand Clin. 2000 May;16(2):225-34, viii. [10791169]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.