Filled with water & chemicals, the human body offers little resistance to electrical shock. Upon receiving a shock, it will flow through the body with little obstruction. Injuries can include:
- Burns to the skin, usually in two places – entry point and exit point.
- Burns to internal tissues.
- Electrical interference/damage to heart, causing it to stop or beat erratically.
What to do for a person during and after receiving an electric shock:
It is important you remain calm & follow some important steps to help increase the patient’s chances of survival & minimise the risk to yourself & others.
Call 000 and request an ambulance. If you are not trained in first aid, the 000 call-taker will guide you in what needs to be done until an ambulance arrives.
Follow D.R.S.A.B.C. (Danger, Response, Seek help, Airway, Breathing, Circulation)
Before responding, assess the situation and look for dangers and hazards, including the potential for you to receive an electric shock as well.
Turn off power at the mains supply board or at the power point.
To avoid receiving an electric shock yourself, DO NOT touch the person or what they are touching until you are 100% positive the power source is disconnected/removed from them and it is not a risk to you or other people.
Check the person’s responsiveness using the “touch and talk” method. If not responding, place in the recovery position.
SEEK MEDICAL HELP
As soon as possible, seek medical help for the patient. If you haven’t called 000 & got an ambulance yet, do so now or get someone else to do it now.
Ensure the person is breathing and has a clear airway. If able, place the head slightly down and clear the mouth.
If not breathing, put back over onto back and perform EAR (expired air resuscitation) by following the instructions from 000 call-taker (or first aid trainer if you have a first aid certificate).
Check for circulation / heart beat. If not present, perform CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) by following the instructions from 000 call-taker (or first aid trainer if you have a first aid certificate).
Last reviewed: January 2012. The information published here was accurate at the time of publication and is not intended to replace medical advice. Immediately seek proper advice from the 000 helpdesk. The information provided here is of a general nature & is not a substitute for proper first aid training. This is available through Red Cross or St John Organizations; check your local phone directory for places.
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Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide December 2011