Electrical burns and injuries happen when electric currents pass through the body. The currents can damage the skin, tissues, and major organs. The damage can range from minor to severe. Sometimes it is fatal.
Electrical burns and injuries are caused by contact with electrical currents. The currents may come from appliances, exposed wiring, or lightning strikes.
Things that raise the risk are:
Having a job with exposure to electric currents
Being outside during thunderstorms
Working with electric systems or appliances without proper training
Symptoms depend on the amount of electricity and length of exposure.
Electrical injury. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/electrical-injuries . Accessed March 3, 2021.
Electrical injuries. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/electrical-and-lightning-injuries/electrical-injuries. Accessed March 3, 2021.
Gentges J, Schieche C. Electrical injuries in the emergency department: an evidence-based review. Emerg Med Pract. 2018;20(11):1-20.
Preventing house fires. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fire.html. Accessed March 3. 2021.
Lightning injuries. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/electrical-and-lightning-injuries/lightning-injuries. Accessed March 3, 2021.
Last reviewed January 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 3/3/2021
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