Electric shock is an injury that could potentially prove to be fatal. But having taken safety measures to ensure health after one has been electrocuted can prevent that from happening.
Immediate medical attention is important to prevent severe injury and death. Here are the following safety measures you can take after experiencing an electric shock.
Call the emergency if the person has been injured or in critical condition by an electric shock.
Lay the Person Down, if Possible
- Elevate the person’s feet about 12 inches unless head, neck, or back is injured or you suspect broken hip or leg bones.
- Do not raise the person’s head.
- Turn the person on side if he or she is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth.
- Cover the person with a towel or blanket if possible.
Perform CPR, if Needed
If the person is not breathing or breathing seems dangerously weak:
- Place the heel of your hand on the center of the person’s chest.
- Place the heel of your other hand on top of your first hand, lacing fingers together.
- Keep arms straight and your shoulders directly over your hands.
- Push hard and fast, compressing their chest at least 2 inches.
- Let their chest rise completely before pushing down again.
- Compress at least 100 times per minute.
- There are different procedures for performing CPR on children. For a baby, press down with two fingers on their breastbone about 1 1/2 inches, about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of chest. For a child, press down about 2 inches or less.
- Continue CPR until help arrives or the person wakes up.
Check for Other Injuries
- If the person is bleeding, apply pressure and elevate the wound if it’s in an arm or leg.
- There may be a fracture if the shock caused the person to fall.
Keep Person Warm and Comfortable
- Loosen restrictive clothing.
- Cover with a coat or blanket.
- Keep the person still. Do not move the person unless there is danger.
- Reassure the person.
- Do not give anything to eat or drink.
Dealing with Burns
Exposure to electricity can cause burns to the skin, and in severe cases, the internal organs. The electricity may cause ‘entry’ and ‘exit’ burns – for example, entering via a hand and leaving via the feet.
- For burns, Cover with sterile, non-adhesive bandages or clean cloth. Do not apply butter, oil, lotions, or creams (especially if they contain fragrance). Apply a petroleum-based ointment two to three times per day.
For responsive casualties:
- Cool burns for a minimum of 10 minutes under cold water
For unresponsive casualties:
- Cool the burn with wet dressings (or special burn dressings) after placing them in the recovery position.
- Burst any blisters
- Apply adhesive dressings
- Remove damaged skin
- Apply ointments/creams
- Cover with ‘fluffy’ dressings
- Affix dressings too tightly
- Apply butter/fats/margarine or other substances commonly believed to cool burns
- Remove damaged clothing
- Apply ice
Precautions are taken before not after electric shock. After all, shock could be lethal and if you survive you can celebrate followed by introspection to avoid such risks in future.