Electrical shock occurs when an electric current travels through the body. The current can cause burns, damage to internal organs, and cardiac arrest. It can even cause death. The danger from an electrical shock depends on the type of current, the voltage, and the length of time you are in contact with the current.
Anyone who has had an electrical shock should seek medical evaluation at a Dignity Health or nearby emergency room. Call 911 in severe cases. Experts at Dignity Health provide reliable, 24/7 emergency services for electrical shock in Sacramento and surrounding areas. We can deliver the level of care that you need with precision and quality. Use our online waiting service, InQuicker™, to select your estimated arrival time at one of our six local ERs.
Causes of Electrical Shock
Electrical shock injuries occur from the following:
- Contact with faulty appliances or wiring
- Accidental contact with exposed wiring
- Touching or inserting something into an outlet
- Arching from high-voltage power lines — high voltage electricity can jump and flow through objects (conduits) several feet away, including your body
Electric Shock Symptoms
As the electrical energy enters the body, it is changes to thermal energy. Skin burns are often the main symptom of an injury from electrical shock. Burns from electrical shock can range from mild to severe. However, not all electrical shocks cause damage on the outside of the body (external). With high voltage shocks, the injuries are usually on the inside (internal).
Other signs and symptoms of electrical shock can include:
- Joint dislocations and fractures
- Breathing problems
- Numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, or loss of movement (paralysis)
- Heart attack, cardiac arrest, or irregular heartbeats
- Seizures or muscle spasms
- Memory problems, personality changes, or irritability
Seek medical care from Dignity Health even if the injury appears to just be a minor burn or there is no apparent injury. A doctor’s evaluation is still necessary because there could be serious internal injury.
Treat & Prevent Electric Shock in the Sacramento Region
Our recommended treatment and prevention strategies depend on the severity of the injury. The first step is to unplug the source of electricity if the person is still in contact with it or turn off the circuit breaker supplying it. Turning off appliances does not necessarily stop the flow of electricity. Do not touch the person while they are in contact with the electrical source. If you can’t turn the current off, use wood or rubber to push the person away from the source.
Call 911 for medical assistance and start first aid for shock or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), if necessary.
If the injured person is near live high-voltage power lines, dial 911 and stay at least 20 feet away. Do not attempt to rescue the person yourself. Dignity Health offers electrical shock treatment in Sacramento and surrounding areas.