First Aid Guide – Treating electric shocks

An electrical shock can be dangerous or it can be mild, depending on the current and how high the voltage is. It also depends on whether it travelled through the body and how the person’s health is when they received the shock. You should phone emergency services immediately if there are signs of an electric shock, particularly if they are showing adverse physical symptoms. These may include heart rhythm problems, burns, seizures, numbness and tingling sensations or cardiac arrest. They may also be having trouble breathing or breathing irregularly and they could be suffering from muscle spasms or contractions.

The first thing to remember before treating electric shocks is that they could still be in contact with the electrical object and they could pass the current through you. If you can’t turn off the electricity source, then use something that will not conduct the current to move the person away from the source. This includes anything made of cardboard, plastic or wood. Check that it is safe to touch them without passing the current through you and begin CPR if there are no signs of breathing or movement. If they begin to show signs of movement and breathing, stop and lay them on their back with their legs elevated if possible.

Accidents involving electrical shocks

Treating electric shocks can be difficult, especially if the source cannot be turned off. It poses a risk to the person trying to help but no help given could result in severe consequences for the patient. If they have an underlying illness such as a heart condition. They may have had a recent stroke or are suffering from a chronic illness which could put them in more danger if first aid is not given.

Electric shocks can occur in the home, in the workplace or even in a public place where there are electrical sockets. However, if the electric shock is caused because the equipment has not been maintained or checked, there may have been someone else at fault for your accident. Similarly, if health and safety regulations are not followed, there could be a higher risk of electrical shocks, particularly in workplaces which hold a lot of electrical machinery. If you have had an accident that is the fault of someone else, you can call Accident Advice Helpline for help. We may be able to win you some compensation to help you cope financially after your accident and offer a no win, no fee* policy ensuring your own finances are protected.

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