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First Aid Basics: First Aid for Electric Shock

September 24, 2015 | Dr. Mary Williams, RN, DC | Comments

First Aid Basics: First Aid for Electric Shock

At nearly every turn, people living in a modern society are surrounded by electricity and electrical devices. When people come into unprotected contact with electricity, it can send a jolt or current of electricity shooting through the body. This is an electric shock, and it has the power to cause changes in one’s vision, muscular contractions, and burns. It may even cause one’s heart to beat irregularly. In the worse cases, it may cause death by electrocution. Treatment for any type of electric shock is important to prevent serious damage or death by electrocution. First aid, however, is still important to stabilize and/or make the victim comfortable until they can be seen by a physician. Both first aid and CPR training may be necessary if you are in a situation in which you must provide aid to an individual who has suffered an electrical shock. This is training that you can receive through CPR Certified. Our online courses are ideal for people who, either through their job or at home, may need to administer CPR or first aid for electric shock.

When someone comes into contact with an electrical current and receives an electric shock, your goal is to first prevent electrocution. First aid will start with ensuring that the flow of electricity is shut off, as this can further injure the victim and anyone attempting to administer aid. To ensure that the current is turned off, shut off the circuit breakers or remove the fuse from the fuse box. If an appliance is involved, unplug the item from the outlet. It is important that you never assume that the electricity is shut off simply because an appliance does not have power. If you are not an on-duty paramedic, it is important to instruct someone to call 911 as soon as possible, or if you are alone, you should call emergency services as soon as the individual is no longer near the electrical current. Check the individual for signs of burns and to ensure that the person has a pulse and is breathing. If the individual does not appear to be breathing, you’ll need to start emergency breathing right away. By taking one of our CPR courses, such as our CPR and first aid course, you will be able to safely administer CPR and provide the necessary first aid for electric shock. If the victim has been burned as a result of the electrical shock, remove any clothing that is touching or near the burn and rinse the area with cool water. Burns should then be covered with a clean cloth, or you may apply a sterile gauze loosely over the burned skin. Because the shock victim may have fallen, use caution in regard to moving the individual, as there may be a head injury from the fall.

There’s no time like the present when it comes to learning the skills that will allow you to confidently perform first aid if unexpected emergencies arise. Electrical shock can have long-term or even deadly consequences if it ultimately results in electrocution. Treatment for electric shock is administered by a physician who can ensure that no damage has been caused; however, first responders are necessary and critical as you can help a victim stay alive following the shock. When you learn first aid and CPR skills from CPR Certified, you are learning from AHA-certified instructors and you can proceed at a pace that accommodates your professional and/or personal life. As one of our students, you can obtain certification as well as recertification, which is invaluable throughout your career. Browse and sign up for one of our courses today!


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