blog home Personal Injury How to Minimize the Effects of an Electrical Injury

By Renee Nordstrand on December 3, 2020

an electrician making repairs

While electricity has revolutionized the way we live our lives, the truth is that it can be a very dangerous source of energy. Electricity, when not properly controlled, can very easily lead to catastrophic injuries, and even death. Knowing how to properly respond to an electric shock could be the difference between life and death.

What an Electrical Shock Looks Like

You can experience an electric shock from any number of machines, many of which may be found around your own home. Lighting, electric appliances, and outlets can all be the culprit behind electric shocks. Knowing what an electric shock looks like can help you provide aid to anyone suffering from one, as well as prevent you from injuring yourself. Some telltale signs that someone experiences a serious electric shock are:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Problems breathing
  • Intense headache
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Burns
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty hearing and seeing

If you notice these symptoms within yourself, or you see someone else exhibiting them, then chances are high that you or they are experiencing a severe electric shock. These kinds of accidents can be incredibly dangerous and have a lasting impact on your life.

The Dangers of Electric Shocks

Electric shocks can result in a number of dangerous injuries, the most common one being electrical burns. Unlike thermal burns, which happen when you are exposed to high heat, electrical burns can quickly travel throughout your entire body, causing catastrophic damage to your deep tissues, nerves, and even your bones. Such burns, if severe enough, can cause scarring, limb loss, and even permanent disabilities.

Electrical shocks can also cause heart attacks and seizures, leading to heart and brain damage. The result can be impaired cognitive ability, permanent heart problems, or death if the shock is extreme enough. The truth is that one faulty appliance in your house, whether it’s a coffee machine or a microwave, can lead to a tragic accident. Knowing how to respond to an electric shock can save your life or the life of your loved one.

How to Respond to a Severe Electric Shock

If you are experiencing an electric shock, then you should try to get away from the source of the electricity as soon as possible. Long-term contact with electricity can cause lasting damage, and the safest thing you can do is get away from it or shut off the source of the power. Once you are safely away from the power source, call for medical assistance and inform them of what happened. You will want to explain any symptoms you have so that they can walk you through any immediate steps you can take to avoid other injuries, especially if you are at risk of losing consciousness or suffering cardiac arrest.

On the other hand, if someone else is experiencing an electric shock, then you should do your best to help them. However, not knowing how to properly help them can lead to you getting shocked yourself, as electricity can flow from body to body. If you want to help someone experiencing a severe electric shock, then:

  • Do not touch them if they are still in contact with the source of the electricity
  • If possible, turn off the flow of electricity
  • If not possible, move the source of electricity away from them using something made from rubber or wood, so long as they are not wet
  • Do not move the shocked person as that can exacerbate their injuries, unless they are in danger of further electric shocks
  • Call for medical assistance and explain what happened
  • Follow all instructions given to you by the medical professionals
  • Be sure to check the shocked person’s pulse and breathing

Unfortunately, even if you follow these steps perfectly, you or the person you are helping could still end up severely injured. That is why it is so vital for manufacturing companies, building owners, and maintenance workers to ensure that all appliances, power lines, and electrical wiring are safely manufactured and installed. If the source of your electric shock was defective, then you may have a personal injury claim on your hands. For a free consultation with an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury attorney and some friendly legal advice, call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022. We are ready to help.

Posted in: Personal Injury