Information for Patients
When you come in direct contact with electricity, it can pass through your body and cause injuries. These electrical injuries can be external or internal. You may have one or both types. External injuries are skin burns. Internal injuries include damage to your organs, bones, muscles, and nerves. You could also have abnormal heart rhythms and cardiac arrest.
How bad your injuries are depends on how strong the electric current was, what type of current it was, how it moved through your body, and how long you were exposed. Other factors include how healthy you are, and how quickly you get treatment.
Causes of electrical injuries include
- Lightning strikes
- Faulty electrical appliances
- Work-related exposures
- Contact with household wiring or power lines
- Accidents in small children, when they bite or suck on electrical cords, or stick objects in outlets
If you get an electrical injury, you should see a doctor. You may have internal damage and not realize it.
Wounds and Injuries
An injury is damage to your body. It is a general term that refers to harm caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and more. In the U.S., millions of people injure themselves every year. These injuries range from minor to life-threatening. Injuries can happen at work or play, indoors or outdoors, driving a car, or walking across the street.
Wounds are injuries that break the skin or other body tissues. They include cuts, scrapes, scratches, and punctured skin. They often happen because of an accident, but surgery, sutures, and stitches also cause wounds. Minor wounds usually aren't serious, but it is important to clean them. Serious and infected wounds may require first aid followed by a visit to your doctor. You should also seek attention if the wound is deep, you cannot close it yourself, you cannot stop the bleeding or get the dirt out, or it does not heal.
Other common types of injuries include
- Animal bites
- Electrical injuries
- Sprains and strains