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The dangers of electrical burns

Electrical burns have many unique factors that distinguish them from other types of burns people in Louisiana may suffer, such as thermal and chemical burns. 

According to StatPearls, the injuries occur when a person’s body comes into contact with a source of electricity and the current travels through it. This can cause external burns, but the injuries are often internal and not visible. 

Electrical burn statistics

Approximately 1,000 Americans die each year due to electrical burns. Around 5% of all burns that receive professional medical treatment are electrical. Most often, the current enters the body through the hands, and the head is the second most common source point. 

Current type and voltage factors

A direct current is likely to throw the person away from the source due to causing one strong muscle contraction. However, an alternating current causes the muscles at the site of contact to repeatedly contract so that the person cannot let go of the energy source. AC is the type of current that powers households and buildings, and the voltage in a home is typically between 110 to 220. This level of voltage can cause muscle seizures and irregular heartbeats. 

Common symptoms of severe electrical burns

The Mayo Clinic warns that the internal tissues and organs are particularly at risk from an electrical burn. A doctor should examine any electrical burn, but emergency medical attention is necessary if the victim suffers any of the following: 

  • Severe burns 
  • Seizures, muscle pain or contraction 
  • Breathing issues 
  • Confusion 
  • Irregular heartbeats or cardiac arrest 
  • Loss of consciousness 

The victim may need CPR while waiting for emergency medical personnel to arrive.