| Treating a person with electric shock and electrical burns
Electricity can kill or result in a wide range of very serious injuries, including severe burns and sudden cardiac arrest.
What To Do If Someone Has An Electric Shock
1. Dial 911 and ask for emergency services if the person is showing signs of their heart stopping, burns, breathing problems, seizures, numbness or unconsciousness.
2. Never touch the person after an electric shock until you are sure that you are not at risk of shock yourself.
3. If they are still in contact with live equipment, you are at risk. The best option is to turn the electricity off off at the mains. If this is not possible push the person away from the electrical source with a piece of wood, plastic or cardboard. Make sure the object you use is completely dry. If you can, stand on non-conducting material while you do so, such as newspapers, a telephone directory or a rubber mat.
4. Once the person is no longer connected to the source of the shock, check their breathing. If they have stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
5. Put the person in the recovery position.
6. Treat any burns with cold water, if it safe to do so. See how to treat burns and scalds. Remember: Water conducts electricity. You need to ensure that you and the victim are away from the source of danger.
High Voltage Electricity
A shock from high voltage electricity (such as from overhead power cables or railway tracks) usually kill immediately. The electrocution causes the heart to stop, severe internal injuries and even broken bones as the victim is physically thrown with the shock. If someone is struck by high voltage electricity, your first priority is to keep yourself safe. The current can jump some 66 feet (20 meters), so stay well away and call emergency services.
Although it is rare to be hit by lightning - if it strikes - it can kill you. In the United States about 400 people a year are struck by lightning, more commonly in the summer months of June, July and August. About 10 percent of those (40) are killed.
• If you hear thunder, seek shelter immediately in a car or building. Most people who are killed by lightening are outside at the time or under a tree.
• Avoid sheltering under trees, particularly single trees.
• If no shelter is available make yourself as low as possible. Minimize your contact with the ground by crouching.
• If you are swimming, exit the water immediately. Electricity travels easily through water, so avoid all bodies of water.
• Avoid sheltering under tall objects.
• If someone is struck by lightning, be prepared to perform CPR and treat any burns if necessary. Always call for medical help.
Other First Aid Tips
How to stop someone choking: Back slapping and abdominal thrusts.
How to treat seizures: Fits and convulsions treatment.
How to treat heatstroke: Heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
How to treat poisoning: Dangerous chemicals and medications first aid.
How to treat someone in shock: First aid for clinical shock.
How to stop someone bleeding: First aid for cuts.
• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.
Return to homepage: Womens Health Advice