9 Fundamental Tips For Electrical Shock Care

Posted on: 11 November 2021

If you're working with power tools and home appliances, there's always the risk of handling them incorrectly and getting an electric shock. Given the frequency of electrical injuries, it's important to have a plan in place for treating those who have been shocked. In some cases, immediate electrical shock care can help prevent serious injury or death.

Understanding these electrical shock care tips will put you in a better position to help save yourself or someone else who has come into direct contact with an electrical energy source:

  1. The first step in electrical shock care is assessing the scene. If the current is still active, or there are any exposed electrical wires or fixtures, do not approach the victim until the power has been turned off and the area made safe by trained personnel.
  2. Give no food or water because the person's condition could worsen due to choking.
  3. Listen for unusual breathing because changes may indicate internal injuries and place them at higher risk for more serious complications. If the person has difficulty breathing or their heart has stopped, begin CPR immediately because every second counts in preventing permanent injury to internal organs.
  4. Call 911 immediately as part of electrical shock care. A shock victim should receive medical attention as soon as possible due to the risk of long-term complications. While the severity of injuries varies, common injuries include cardiac arrest, nerve damage, paralysis, respiratory failure, and burns.
  5. Although many electrical injuries cause muscle contractions and spasms, do not attempt to control the victim's movements because it could cause more harm.
  6. After providing electrical shock care, keep the person warm and comfortable by gradually rewarming their body if they are shivering or feel cold.
  7. If the person had burns on their skin or clothing, remove nearby smoldering items but do not blow on them to put out the fire because blowing spreads the flames. If clothes are stuck to the skin, cut through them with scissors while avoiding any burning areas. Leave some burned clothing in place if removing it could cause more damage.
  8. If they are conscious, give small sips of water. However, do so only if they are alert and can swallow on their own.
  9. As with most medical emergencies, prevention is key to reducing the number of electrical injuries. Always be cautious when working around high-voltage equipment like power tools and overhead lights by making sure you are properly grounded at all times.

The Bottom Line

Electrical shock is a terrifying and dangerous experience. If not treated urgently, it can cause permanent brain damage, heart failure, severe burns, or death. Fortunately, there are several electrical shock care tips that you can follow to prevent death or reduce the severity of the injuries.