Electrical burns are those injuries to the flesh that are caused by electricity, either by an electric shock or an uncontrolled short circuit. Electrical burns commonly come about when a person comes into contact with a live wiring that is left exposed. It may also be caused by lightning in some rare instances. When considering electrical safety, one must consider burns, their causes, and treatments.
Like any other kind of burn, an electrical burn can possibly damage the skin, and in some cases, the electricity flowing into the body may likewise result to other health concerns such as cardiac arrest and the development of an erratic heartbeat.
In dealing with electrical burns, precautions must first be taken. The first part of treating burns is ensuring that the victim is no longer in contact with the source of electricity. The body is a natural conductor of electricity; hence it is possible to pass the surge of current and to cause more injuries, internal and external. Look first and do not immediately touch the victim. Turn off the source of electricity, or if this is not possible, move the source away using a non-conducting object.
Knowing the basics of electrical burn treatment can save a life. Treatment for burns includes knowing the things that you will need in nursing a patient. You may possibly need a non-conducting object, sterile bandage, water, CPR training, and a telephone so you can call for help.
In treating the more serious kinds of electrical burns, you will need the telephone to call for immediate assistance. While the medical team is on their way, monitor the vital signs of the victim. Check his or her pulse and know if he or she is still breathing. If you cannot detect anything anymore, perform CPR and try to rescue the breathing of the victim. Don’t let the victim go into shock. Elevate his or her legs and place his or her head lower than the torso. When the victim comes around, calm him or her with reassuring words until the medical assistance arrives.
Minor electrical burns, on the other hand, require a less intricate procedure for treatment. First, you have to rinse the burned area with water. These electrical burns manifest on the surface of the skin where the electrical current entered the body. Cover the affected surface with a dry, sterile gauze pad or dressing. The dressing must be changed and the injury must be cleaned every day. If the bandage becomes wet, change it with a clean and dry dressing to avoid infections on the damaged skin. Other injuries more than minor electrical burns, such as bone fractures caused by electric shock, should be treated by a medical professional.
If you don’t see any manifestation of electrical burns or other injuries after an electrocution, it is still recommended that you seek medical attention to ensure that indeed no injuries were sustained. This is crucial because electrocution also causes internal injuries.
Prevention is always better than cure. Hence, it is a good advice to use safety covers on electrical outlets to avoid causing electrical burns, particularly to unsuspecting victims such as small children.
Because of their tender age, electrocution in children is always considered serious. More than electrical burns, kids could possibly experience shock. Symptoms of shock include cold sweat, irregular breathing, weakness, chills, a fast but weak pulse, nausea, and pale or blue-colored lips and fingernails. If you notice any of these in your child, consult his or her doctor for immediate treatment.
Electrical burns are manifested by some lesions on the skin. Whether the electrical burns are serious or not, medical attention is advised. After performing first aid, consult a physician to ensure that no other damage has been caused. Remember that electrical burns can cause damage that is not readily apparent to the naked eye.