ELECTRICAL INJURIES /
If any part of the body comes in contact with a 'live' wire, which is
exposed and not covered by insulator, or with a cable or rail in which current
is leaking, a person gets an electric shock. In houses the blowing out of switches
or fuses of faulty electrical connections can cause much injury. The injury may
be quite mild or so severe as to cause immediate death. Electrical shock is
produced only when an electric current passes through the human body, which is
in contact with earth. It passes even more quickly if the part is wet.
In wet conditions even lower voltage may be dangerous. A very strong
current passing to earth through lower limbs may be less dangerous than a
weaker current passing through the chest, especially so, when it enters the
hands and arms.
High voltage industrial (power) current can jump 16-18 meters and kill
the rescuer. Therefore, do not approach the casualty till the switch has been
turned off. These currents not only cause local damage but affect the
respiratory and cardiac centers. They produce, therefore, superficial or deep
burns including charring, but also cause stoppage of breathing and heart beat.
The effect of Electric
There may be fatal paralysis of heart.
There may be sudden stoppage of breathing due to paralysis of muscles
used in breathing:
Heart may continue to beat, while breathing has stopped. In this
condition the face appears blue.
There may be burns, either superficial or deep. They depend on the
strength of the electric current causing the injuries.
Intelligent and prompt action is required if the first aider is not
cautious. He may also receive severe electric shock or even die along with the
If the casualty is still in contact with the source, switch off the
current. If the switch is not to be found, remove the plug or cut off the
current by breaking the wire. Before cutting off the current, ensure that you
stand on a dry piece of wooden board. Do not use scissors or knife.