Electrical burns are skin or underlying tissue injuries caused by contact with an electrical current. Electrical burns can be very serious and even life-threatening, as they can cause internal damage to organs and muscles. Knowing the signs and symptoms of an electrical burn, how to provide first aid, and when to seek medical treatment is important.
Assessment: Electrical burns should be assessed by an experienced healthcare provider. The severity of the burn can be determined by a physical exam and imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans. The provider may also order lab tests to check for internal damage.
Symptoms: Symptoms of an electrical burn can vary depending on the severity and location of the burn. Common symptoms include pain and burning sensation at the site of the burn, as well as redness, swelling, and blistering of the skin. Other signs to look out for include numbness, tingling, muscle spasms, and cardiac arrest.
First Aid: If someone has an electrical burn, it is important to take the following steps:
1. Immediately turn off the source of electricity.
2. Call 911 or your local emergency services.
3. Remove the person from the source of electricity, if possible.
4. Do not touch the person if they are still in contact with the source of electricity.
5. If the person is unresponsive, begin CPR and/or use an AED (automated external defibrillator).
Treatment: Treatment for an electrical burn depends on the severity of the injury. Treatment may include wound care, medications, and/or surgery. In some cases, electrical burns may require hospitalization.
Medication: Medications may be prescribed to manage pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing. These may include antibiotics, corticosteroids, and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you or someone else has sustained an electrical burn. Prompt treatment can help prevent further complications and improve recovery.