Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Treat Electrical Burns

Electrical burns don't always show damage on the skin. These burns can extend deep into tissue and cause internal damage. Electrical burns can damage the heart due to the sudden shock or can result in broken bones or bruises if the shock causes a fall.


1. Remove the source of electricity. Either turn off the electrical equipment or disconnect the power source. If you cannot turn off the power, remove the wire with a dry rope or a wooden pole. Don't use anything that could be a conductor, and don't touch the victim or the hot wire until you are sure the power is off--you could get an electrical burn, too.

2. Check for breathing and for a pulse. If the person is not breathing, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and call for an ambulance. Continue CPR until the heartbeat and breathing return to normal or until the paramedics arrive.

3. Prevent shock by having the person lie down with his legs elevated and cover him up to his chin to keep warm.

4. Cover electrical burns with a dry, sterile bandage. If you don't have a sterile bandage, don't improvise with a towel or other cloth with loose fibers.

5. Seek immediate medical care if the victim appears confused, is light-headed or dizzy, has difficulty breathing or has changes in heartbeat.

Tags: Electrical burns, sterile bandage