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First Aid 2023

What to do in case of electrical shock

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What to do in case of electrical shock
What to do in case of electrical shock

Knowing what to do in case of electric shock is very important because, in addition to helping to avoid consequences for the victim, such as severe burns or cardiac arrest, it also helps to protect the rescuer against the dangers of electricity.

In these cases, first aid is:

1. Cut off or turn off the power supply, but do not touch the victim;

2. Remove the person from the electrical source that was causing the shock, using non-conductive and dry materials such as wood, plastic, thick cloths or rubber;

3. Call an ambulance by calling 192;

4. Notice that the person is conscious and breathing;

  • If conscious: calm the victim until medical personnel arrive;
  • If unconscious but breathing: lay her on her side, placing her in a safe lateral position. Find out how you can do it correctly;
  • If unconscious and not breathing: begin cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. See how the massage should be done;

5. Continue doing the previous step until medical help arrives.


The chances of saving the electrocuted victim decrease over time and from the 4th minute of having received the electric shock the chances of survival are less than 50%.

In this way, this first aid should be started as soon as possible, especially the first step, to prevent the electrical current from doing too much damage to the body and resulting in serious complications.

Main complications of electric shock

In addition to the immediate risk of death, when the current is too high, electric shock can affect the body in other ways, such as:

1. Burns

Most electric shock accidents only cause minor burns to the skin at the shock site, however, when the voltage is too high, excess electricity can affect internal organs.

When electricity reaches the internal organs, it can cause serious problems in their functioning and, therefore, the person may need to undergo treatment for kidney, heart or other affected organ failure, for example.

2. Heart problems

When a small electrical current passes through the chest and reaches the heart, it can cause atrial fibrillation, which is a type of cardiac arrhythmia that must be treated in the hospital to avoid endangering the victim's life.

On the other hand, when the electrical current is very high, as in the case of shocks on high voltage poles, the current is so high that it interferes with the electrical activity of the heart and stops the muscle, causing cardiac arrest that can result in in death.

3. Neurological injuries

All electrical currents can affect the nerves in some way, so when there are repeated or very strong shocks, the structure of the nerves can be affected, resulting in neuropathy. Neuropathy can cause symptoms such as pain or numbness in the legs and arms, difficulty moving muscles or frequent dizziness, for example.

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