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What are the possible effects of electrocution?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Workplace Accidents

Electricity is so common in daily life that it can become easy to forget how dangerous it can be. Everyday household items can become unsafe, and people who work around powerful tools and equipment face additional hazards.

Anyone who works around electricity should be aware of the possible consequences of electrocution.

Muscle spasms

Electricity stimulates the movement of muscles. A minor shock might only result in a slight buzzing, but more powerful currents could cause contractions that force a person to hold onto the electrical source, increasing the severity of the injury.

In other cases, a shock can travel through the extensor muscles and throw the body violently. In either situation, such rapid spasms can lead to tears in muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Internal and external burns

A shock can burn the flesh and leave marks at the point of contact. Serious burns may even require amputation.

A person can also sustain burns that seem less harmful but indicate that the injured party suffered internal damage. Such an injury might lead to a loss of sensation or function in critical body parts.

Cardiac arrest

Contrary to what fictional works display, a shock is more likely to stop a heart instead of starting it. This organ maintains a steady beat due to electrical impulses, but an outside electrical pulse can disturb the heart’s rhythm and cause it to stop pumping.

A defibrillator may be able to restore the heartbeat to its regular pattern, but it does not start a stopped heart. Anyone who uses the device should carefully follow the instructions.

Electrocution can lead to severe consequences that may not fully manifest for weeks or months. Anyone who suffers an electric shock on the job should have a medical examination to understand the full extent of any damage.