CPR First Aid

How to Treat Electric Shock?

How to Treat Electric Shock

Healthdirect, a health information service the Australian government funds, states that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and burn management treat electric shock. CPR is an emergency procedure to resume a casualty’s breathing or heartbeat. Electrical burns are also common, so knowing the correct first aid procedures is helpful. While these instructions are found below, enrolling in training may help you practice the skills. Read further to know where to find a free online class and a face-to-face setup.

How to Treat Electric Shock?

Healthdirect recommends performing the following first aid steps when someone has an electric shock.

Healthdirect recommends performing the following first aid steps when someone has an electric shock.

Call an Ambulance

Dial 000 for emergency health services since an electric shock may be life-threatening and may cause internal damage.

Ensure your Safety 

While waiting for an ambulance, switch off any source of electricity and be cautious before touching them or if they are in contact with water. Use a material that does not conduct electricity such as wood to separate a casualty from the source. However, if it is a power line, it’s best to stay at least 6 metres away from any cable.

Perform CPR

Once it is safe for you and the casualty, check if they are conscious and still breathing. If they don’t respond, it’s ideal to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to establish the airway and resume the oxygenated blood circulation. This emergency procedure is known to be lifesaving and is taught in training centres throughout Australia.

Where to Learn CPR?

The website of CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903) offers a free online CPR course for anyone who wants to learn the basics of the skill. It also conducts face-to-face CPR training at North Lakes Hotel 22 Lakefield Dr, North Lakes QLD 4509 which includes a practical assessment. The address details of its other centres in other states are found on its website.

Treat the Electrical Burn

If there are electrical burns, treat it like a regular burn where you use running water and a sterile gauze bandage. Avoid using a blanket or towel to cover it as loose fibers may stick to the burn. 

Follow Aftercare Advice

Healthline, a team that manages a medical network of over 150 healthcare professionals, states that the treatment for electric shock depends on the injury. 

  • An application of antibiotic ointment and sterile dressings for electrical burns
  • Pain medication
  • Intravenous fluids
  • A tetanus shot

Doctors may also recommend a longer admission in the hospital if it involves a high voltage or severe shock. As there is a need to monitor a casualty’s heart condition and an electrical injury.

What is an Electric Shock?

Electric shock occurs when an electric current goes through a person’s body after having contact with live electricity. Its effect may include a burn, fright, pain, unconsciousness, or even stopping of the heart. 

What Causes an Electric Shock?

Exposure to any of the following may cause an electrical shock.

  • Electrical wires
  • Electrical appliances 
  • Live cable
  • Old wiring 

In some cases, lightning also becomes a source. 

Exposure to any of the following may cause an electrical shock.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Electric Shock?

A person having an electric shock may show the following.

  • Difficulty or stopping of the breathing 
  • A pulse that is either weak or absent
  • Burn
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cardiac arrest

The symptoms may depend on the type of source and level of voltage.

What are the Complications of an Electric Shock?

An electric shock may lead to one or more of the below.

  • Damage to the brain
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes

The most common known complication is infection.

What is the Statistics Regarding Electric Shocks in Australia?

A 2021 – 2022 report by the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council reveals the following data.

  • Overhead conductors are the main cause of electrical deaths
  • Most of the electrical deaths occurred at the workplace
  • A total of 9 fatal electrical accidents across the country

The complete report is available on the government agency’s website.

How to Prevent Electric Shocks?

Applying electrical safety at home may help prevent electric shocks.

  • Install safety switches and test them regularly
  • Avoid doing electrical work and repairs yourself but instead, contact a licensed electrician
  • Do not use a power tool, appliance, or lead that is faulty or has a frayed cord
  • See to it that there are no electrical appliances in wet areas and near pools

For electrical safety at work, visit the website of Safe Work Australia for guidance.

Applying electrical safety at home may help prevent electric shocks.

Where to Find a Licensed Electrician in Australia?

Sources such as the Yellow Pages and Master Electricians Australia may be able to help you find a licensed electrician. Google also recommends businesses that provide ratings, locations, and contact details. 

Conclusion

In case of an electric shock, it’s best to call an ambulance, ensure your safety, perform CPR when needed, treat any electrical burns, and follow aftercare advice. It may be a life-threatening emergency after exposure to sources of live electricity. Signs and symptoms vary which affects breathing, pulse, consciousness, and heart function. Unfortunately, it also leads to further complications in the brain and personality. So, it is best to apply electrical safety and seek assistance from a licensed electrician to prevent it.

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