Electrical shock is when an electric current passes through the body. Exposure to electric current can result in burns, damage to internal organs, cardiac arrest, and even death. The extent of injuries from electrical shock depends on how long you were in contact with the current, the type of current, and the intensity of the voltage.
If you or someone around you sustained an electric shock in Northern California, seek immediate medical attention at a Dignity Health North State emergency room, or call 911. Our trusted emergency services are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Know the Symptoms of Electric Shock
Electrical energy becomes heat when it enters the body. As such, the most common injury from electric shock is skin burns. These burns can be mild or severe. However, not all injuries from electrical shock are visible. High voltage shocks can cause internal damage.
Additional electrical shock symptoms include:
Consult a Dignity Health North State medical professional even if you can’t see a wound or the wound appears to be minor. It’s important to rule out the possibility of internal injury.
What are the Causes of Electric Shock?
Electric shock injuries are caused by:
- Contact with faulty wiring or appliances.
- Accidental contact with exposed wiring.
- Electric arcing from high-voltage power lines. High-voltage electricity can jump to a conduit (the human body is a conduit for electricity) several feet away.
- Touching or inserting something into an electrical outlet.
What to Do in Case of Electric Shock
The first step is to stop the flow of electricity through the body. This can be done by unplugging the source of electricity or turning off a circuit breaker to cut power. Appliances can still conduct electric current even when set to “off” — be sure to pull the plug from the outlet.
Do not touch the person while they are in contact with the source of electricity. Use any nonconductive material (wood, rubber, etc.) to push the person away from the source, if you can’t shut off the current. Call 911 for medical assistance and begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) if the person has no pulse.
If the injured person is near live high-voltage power lines, do not approach. Call 911 and remain 20 feet away.
Our emergency doctors and staff can provide the right treatment with personal care. Rely on Dignity Health North State in an emergency situation.
Dignity Health North State provides emergency care for accidental electric shock in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.