In our everyday lives, we are almost constantly surrounded by electricity. Whether in the office or at home in our own four walls, electricity flows. But the danger of cables or sockets is often underestimated. When does an electric shock occur and what are the consequences for people? We clarify the most important questions.
How does electric injury occur?
First of all, you have to understand the human body a little before you know how an electric shock actually occurs. Lots of electrical impulses flow through the human body. These electrical impulses are needed for the nervous system. For example, the nervous system can transmit different commands from our brain to the muscles. The heart also beats only through electrical impulses.
The difference to electricity is that in the body ions are used for the flow of current. In electrical devices, on the other hand, it is by means of electrons. But if an external current source reaches the body, it can become dangerous. It can then affect the muscles and cause cramps.
If, for example, you accidentally touch a socket or come into contact with an open power cable, it can be unpleasant. There is a lot of electricity flowing in these places. In the household, 230 V is common, as you can often read on power outlets. That is about 16 amperes. About 0.05 amps is enough to trigger a life-threatening heart fibrillation. That is the equivalent of about 50 milliamperes.
Is electric injury dangerous?
Electric injury can definitely be life-threatening. It always depends on the power source and how much current is flowing through it. Our body charges itself throughout the day. If you then reach out to a place that is also charged, you can also get a mild electric shock. We get a short shock and flinch briefly. Such an electric shock is not dangerous.
Whether an electric shock is really dangerous depends on several different factors:
- Contact surface
- Exposure time
- Path through the body
It is also decisive whether the current is alternating or direct. In principle, alternating current is more likely to cause damage to health than direct current. With alternating current, the direction of flow changes constantly. With direct current, there is only one direction of flow. This does not mean, however, that direct current is harmless.
When is electric injury dangerous?
Here, too, it depends first of all on the current strength and the exposure time. If you are only exposed to a strong current for a short time, it is similarly dangerous as a light current for a longer time. It usually becomes dangerous at a current strength of about 50 milliamperes. If the current reaches the chest, it becomes really dangerous. This can lead to problems with the heart.
We have to be especially careful with power sources when one could come into contact with water or moisture. Then it is better to keep your hands off electrical appliances. In the bathroom, too, one should generally refrain from using radios or similar devices.
What to do in case of electric shock?
If an electric shock occurs in the household, you can help by disconnecting the power source. For example, by carefully pulling out the plug or by turning off the main switch. In the event of an accident with a high-voltage line, it is better to stay away from the accident site and dial the emergency number immediately. In that case, fast first aid for the person affected is very important.
With our Tarisapp, you can, for example, ask for help from medically trained personnel in the immediate vicinity. After all, several minutes can pass before the emergency services arrive at the scene of the accident. And every second counts in the event of an electrical accident.
If an electric shock occurs, first aid is essential for survival. Electrocution victims are dependent on all further help.
In the event of an accident involving electric shock, adhere to the following instructions:
- Stay calm and dial the emergency number immediately.
- Pay attention to your own safety. Look for the circuit and break it carefully without endangering yourself. You can do this, for example, with a blanket or a piece of wood, these are not conductive.
- Talk to the person concerned and try to reassure them.
- If there are burns, you can cover them with germ-free cloths.
- The affected person is no longer conscious and is still breathing? Then place the person in the recovery position. Continue to monitor breathing and consciousness.
- If there is no longer any breathing, carry out resuscitation measures immediately by means of cardiopulmonary massage.
- In case of high-voltage accidents, first aid should only be administered by qualified medical personnel.
What are the possible consequences of electric injury?
A strong electric shock can eventually lead to death. If you are still a little lucky, you can survive. But then usually with serious consequences.
Consequences can be:
- Severe burns
- Memory gaps
- Impairment of body functions
- Cardiac arrhythmia
When should you see a doctor?
If at least one of the consequences occurs, do not hesitate to go to the doctor. Even mild electric shocks can cause a general feeling of indisposition. The consequences of an electric shock should not be underestimated. The doctor will then order various examinations. The whole body is examined for possible damage.
Skin burns are treated with the help of ointments and bandages. If the pain is more severe, painkillers are used to relieve the pain. As a rule, people affected by electrocution stay in hospital for one or two days for observation. This is the only way to rule out further damage to the body.
- Heart Anatomy: How does our heart actually work?
- Fainting: Losing consciousness!
- Shock: What exactly happens in a state of shock?
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