Electrical injuries occur when a body comes in contact with any electrical current. These types of injuries can be quite serious and even deadly. Recovery following a New York electrical injury can be a long arduous process. Here are some tips to help individuals identify and properly react to these types of injuries.

Causes of Electrical Injuries

Whenever someone comes in contact with an electrical current, he or she is in danger of being seriously injured or killed by the current. Common causes of electrical injuries include contact with:

  • Exposed wires or electrical parts
  • Electrical arcs from power lines
  • Lightning
  • Certain pieces of machinery

Children can be exposed to an electrical current if they chew or bite through power cords, like those on lamps or other appliances, or if they stick a metal object into an electrical socket.

Common Symptoms

Contact with an electrical current can cause a range of injuries to the heart and cardiovascular system, muscles, tissues and nerves. It may also cause thermal burns to the skin. These injuries can be serious or deadly. For example, superficial minor burns might mask extensive tissue damage underneath the skin.

Symptoms of an electrical injury can vary. Some people experience headaches, breathing issues and problems swallowing. Impaired vision, numbness and broken bones may also occur. More severe electrical injuries may cause an irregular heartbeat, seizures, heart attack and death.

What to Do Following an Electrical Injury?

The first thing to do is call 911, because electrical injuries may be more serious than is evident by visible injuries.

Never approach someone who has suffered an electrical injury until it is certain that the electrical current that caused the injury is shut off and the scene poses no continued risk. If the current is still live, cut it off by unplugging the appliance or by turning off the circuit breaker. Then stand on something dry and use a nonconductive item made out of wood or rubber to move the victim away from the current.

Once it is safe to do so, check to see if the victim is breathing and has a pulse. If not, perform CPR if trained. Take precautions against shock by elevating the victim’s legs and keeping the torso slightly higher than the head unless there is a possibility of damage to the victim’s spinal cord. Cover burns with a clean, dry cloth or gauze.

It is important that all victims of electrical injury seek immediate medical attention since internal injuries may be extensive. If you or a loved one has been injured by an electrical current and believe a product defect or negligent action may be to blame, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.