II. Epidemiology

  1. Electrical injuries cause 1000 deaths in U.S. per year

III. Pathophysiology

  1. Electricity travels a path until meets resistance
    1. Carbonized tissue resists continued current
  2. Electrical Injury results in thermal Burn Injury
  3. Most common injury sites
    1. Deep Skin injury
    2. Neurologic injury
      1. Spinal cord injury (e.g. motor or sensory deficit)
      2. CNS injury (e.g. Altered Level of Consciousness)
    3. Eye Injury
      1. Cataracts
      2. Corneal burn
      3. Retinal Detachment
    4. Cardiovascular injury
      1. Cardiac Arrest
      2. Arrhythmia

IV. Types

  1. Alternating Current (AC): Low voltage home injury
    1. AC is 3 times more dangerous than DC at same voltage
    2. May result in muscle Tetany
      1. Patient involuntarily holds source
      2. Prolongs duration of contact and increases injury
  2. Direct Current (DC): High voltage Occupational Injury
    1. May throw patient from jolt of energy
    2. May result in blunt injury in addition to burns
  3. Arc Injury
    1. Patient part of arc of current between 2 objects
    2. Most serious Electrical Injury
      1. Severe blunt Trauma may result
      2. Temperature may exceed 2500 C (4532 F)

V. Management

  1. See Burn Management
  2. Indications for outpatient management (all criteria)
    1. Low-voltage exposure
    2. Normal physical
    3. Normal laboratory examination (No Myoglobinuria)
    4. Electrocardiogram (EKG) normal

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Ontology: Burns, Electric (C0006436)

Definition (MSH) Burns produced by contact with electric current or from a sudden discharge of electricity.
Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
MSH D002058
SnomedCT 21720007, 405571006
English Burn, Electric, Burns, Electric, Electric Burn, Electric Burns, electrical burn(s), burn from electricity, burn from electricity (diagnosis), Burns, Electric [Disease/Finding], burns electrical, electric burn, electric burns, burning electric, burns electric, electrical burn, Electrical burns, Electrical burn, Electrical burn (morphologic abnormality), Electrical burn (disorder)
Swedish Elektriska brännskador
Spanish quemadura por agentes eléctricos, Quemaduras por Corriente Eléctrica, Quemadura por electricidad, Quemaduras Eléctricas, quemadura por agentes eléctricos (anomalía morfológica), quemadura por electricidad (anomalía morfológica), quemadura por electricidad, quemadura eléctrica, quemadura por electricidad (trastorno), Quemaduras por Electricidad
Czech popálení elektrickým proudem, Popálenina elektrickým proudem
Finnish Sähköiskupalovammat
Portuguese Queimaduras por Eletricidade, Queimadura eléctrica, Queimaduras Elétricas, Queimaduras por Corrente Elétrica
Italian Ustione elettrica, Ustioni da elettricità
German Elektrische Verbrennung, Elektrische Verbrennungen, Strommarken, Verbrennungen, elektrische
Dutch elektrische brandwond, Brandwond, elektrische, Brandwonden, elektrische, Elektrische brandwond, Elektrische brandwonden
French Brûlure électrique, Brûlures électriques
Japanese デンゲキネッショウ, 熱傷-電気, 火傷-電気, 電撃熱傷, 電気熱傷, 電気火傷
Polish Oparzenia elektrycznością, Oparzenia prądem elektrycznym
Hungarian Elektromos égés
Norwegian Elektriske brannskader, Elektriske forbrenninger, Brannskade, elektrisk, Elektriske brannsår

Ontology: Electrical Injuries (C1556061)

Definition (MSH) Injuries caused by electric currents. The concept excludes electric burns (BURNS, ELECTRIC), but includes accidental electrocution and electric shock.
Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
MSH D004556
SnomedCT 371708003
English Electric Injuries, Electric Injury, Injuries, Electric, Injury, Electric, ELECTRIC INJ, INJ ELECTRIC, Electrical injury, Electric Injuries [Disease/Finding], electrical injury, electrical injuries, electric injuries, electric injury, Electric injury, Electrical injuries, Injury due to electrical exposure (disorder), Injury due to electrical exposure, Electrical Injuries
Swedish Elektriska skador
Czech poranění elektrickým proudem, Poranění elektrickým proudem
Finnish Sähkövammat
Japanese 電気切開事故, 電気損傷, 電気傷, 損傷-電気, 電撃傷, デンゲキソンショウ, 電撃損傷
French Blessures électriques, Lésion électrique, Électrotraumatisme, Traumatismes électriques, Électrotraumatismes
Croatian Not Translated[Electric Injuries]
Polish Porażenie prądem elektrycznym, Rażenie elektrycznością
Spanish Lesión por electricidad, Lesiones por Electricidad, lesión por exposición a la electricidad (trastorno), lesión por exposición a la electricidad, Traumatismos por Electricidad
Portuguese Lesão eléctrica, Lesões por Eletricidade, Traumatismos por Eletricidade
Dutch elektrisch letsel, Electrocutieletsels, Letsel, electrocutie-, Letsels, electrocutie-
German Verletzung durch elektrischen Strom, Stromverletzungen, Verletzungen, Strom-
Hungarian Elektromos sérülés
Italian Lesione elettrica, Lesioni da elettricità
Norwegian Strømskader, Elektrisitetsskader, El-skader, Skadevirkninger av elektrisitet, Skadevirkninger av elektrisk kraft