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DEFINITION--Injury caused by electricity passing through the body.
BODY PARTS INVOLVED--Total body.
SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED--Both sexes; all ages.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS--
Depends on where the current enters the body and the kind of electrical current. Following are the most common:
Burns at areas of contact. The burns are often deep.
Heart damage, including cardiac arrest.
Severe muscle spasms that may cause fractures.
CAUSES--Contact with electricity from downed power lines, exposed appliance wires, faulty electrical equipment, lightning strikes or other electrical sources.
RISK INCREASES WITH
Standing on wet ground or under a tree during an electrical storm.
Mishandling of electrical equipment.
Occupations that involve electrical machinery or lines.
HOW TO PREVENT
Inspect your house, especially the kitchen, bathroom and workshop, for hazards. Use grounded plugs wherever possible.
Don't use hair dryers or radios in the bathroom where they can fall into a tub or sink.
Use safety plugs in empty electrical outlets to prevent children from inserting metal objects.
Don't try to repair electrical equipment unless you know how.
Wear protective gloves and clothing for work that involves exposure to electricity.
Replace worn cords or wiring at home or work.
Use ground fault electrical interrupters when possible.
Go indoors during electrical storms. Lightning may strike several miles away from actual rainfall.
What To Expect
DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES----Diagnosis is usually obvious from the circumstances.
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