How do you treat electrical burns?


Quick Answer

Damage caused by an electrical burn is not always immediately apparent. Mayo Clinic recommends calling for emergency medical personnel. While waiting for the emergency response team, turn off the power and provide first aid, including CPR and treatment for shock if necessary.

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Full Answer

If it is impossible to turn off the power, WebMD recommends standing on a dry surface and using a nonmetallic, dry object, such as a broom handle, to push the individual away from the power source if it is possible to do so safely. Look for external burns where the electricity entered and exited the victim's body. Wash the burns with clean water and cover with a lint-free bandage.

Once the emergency medical personnel transport the victim to the hospital, the doctors work to stabilize his condition. According to Drugs.com, doctors use tests to determine the extent of the internal damage. Blood and urine tests provide information on the extent of the damage to the muscles, heart and other internal organs. An ECG provides information on the function of the victim's heart. CT scans reveal any damage to the brain. The patient receives medication for pain and ointments to prevent infection. Often, victims undergo a series of surgeries, including debridement of the wounds and skin graphs. Physical therapy helps to restore range of motion to joints and muscles.

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