Electrical burns might not be visible on the surface but they can cause critical internal injuries. When the body comes into contact with an electrical current, the current passes through the body and can create burns on the internal tissues and organs.
How do Electrical Burns Happen?
Electrical burns happen when electricity flows through the body. Your mother probably warned you about sticking your fingers in electrical sockets and using electrical appliances near water. These warnings were meant to prevent electrical burns and electrocution from occurring.
Children are particularly susceptible to this type of burn since they are often curious about electrical outlets and they may try to stick things into them. They might also not be aware that electricity should not be used around water.
What Kind of Damage Can Electrical Burns Do?
Electrical burns can create skin burns in much the same way as other types of burns or they can create internal injuries. Since it is often not possible to know if you are suffering from an internal injury right away it is important to seek immediate medical care for possible electrical burns as soon as possible, even if you feel alright.
The severity of the damage may depend on where the electricity enters and exits the body. For example, if you touch something a source of live electricity with your hand then the exit point might be your heart. That can be fatal.
The Treatment of Electrical Burns
The first thing to keep in mind if you see someone get an electric shock is that you should never touch that person. The electric current might still be live in the body and could pass to you if you touch the victim. Turn off the source of electricity and call 911. Your doctor or hospital will evaluate the victim and determine whether or not there are injuries that need treatment.
Prevention of Electrical Burns
Three pronged electrical outlets that are grounded are one way to help prevent this type of serious injury. Another good source of prevention is to keep covers on all outlets that are not currently in use. This will prevent children and pets from investigating the outlets and potentially electrocuting themselves. It is also important to have a certified electrician make sure that the electrical work in your home is up to code. Finally, if you are repairing anything that involves electricity then make sure that the source of electricity has been cut off before beginning your work.
Electrical burns are sometimes severe enough to be electrocutions. They can cause intense pain, serious injury and even death. Therefore, it is important to recognize the causes of electrical burns and the preventive strategies that you can take to make sure that you do not suffer the consequences of an electrical burn. It is also important to get prompt medical attention if you think you have suffered an electrical burn.
Many electrical burns are serious but many are also preventable. So, it is important to protect yourself from electrical burns to the greatest degree possible.