Effects of electrical current on the human body

Although the benefits of electricity are many, we must be aware of the risks that electricity offers us, which is electric shock. Thinking about it we decided to do this article, to clarify the main doubts related to electric shocks, such as, what is electric shock and what are the consequences of electric shock in the human body, besides presenting some tips on how to prevent electric shock and how pride first aid in cases of electric shock. Come on!

What is an electric shock:

We characterize as the electric shock the reaction of the organism when an electric current passes through the body, whether alternating or continuous. Electric shock can manifest itself basically in three different ways, which are:

  • Static electricity (constant electrical voltage)
  • Dynamic Electricity (electrical voltage in the alternating or continuous electromagnetic waveform)
  • Lightning strikes or electrical arcs

It is important to note that the consequences and changes caused by electric shock in our body depend mainly on the duration and intensity of the electric shock.

Effects and consequences of electric shock:

The damages and sequelae that are caused by the electric shock have a direct connection with the intensity of the current and not with electric voltage, that is, the electric current is without a doubt the most important factor to be considered in cases of accidents involving electricity. Below we can see the risks and damages of a certain range of electrical current when passing through the human body:

  • Electric shock with a current of 1 mA – barely noticeable and does not cause health risks
  • Electric shock with a current of 10 mA – the hand can remain attached to the driver, as the person loses control of the muscles, that is, muscle spasms occur and causes health risks.
  • Electric shock with a current of 16 mA – it is considered as the maximum current that the body can support, and the consequences are already more serious.
  • Electric shock with a current between 20 mA and 3A – cardiac arrest and high risk of death.

As a consequence of electric shock, burns are very common in these cases. It is important to highlight that the skin of the human body is a good insulator and when the skin is dry, it offers a good resistance to the passage of very high electric current, but due to several factors this resistance is changed, such as the greater the contact area and the more the skin is wet, the lower the resistance of the skin.

The consequences of shock vary as well as its severity, with numbness, tingling, burning, skin without sensation, general malaise, nausea, muscle cramps in the extremities, dizziness, burns, changes in heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, for cardiac, respiratory arrest and death!

Effects of electric shock on the human body.

Electric shock severity:

Undoubtedly the severity of an electric shock is very high, but there are some factors that further increase the severity of the electric shock, because according to experts, the most dangerous shock is one that originates in one hand and comes out in the other. In accidents with shocks of this condition, electricity passes through the chest region, with an enormous chance of affecting the heart and respiratory organs.

Another factor that further intensifies the severity of an electric shock, are the falls after suffering a shock, because in certain accidents of this type if it were not the falls, the chances of survival were greater, so professionals should always work with the equipment adequate protection.

First aid:

Before starting the first aid procedures, the accident site must be analyzed to prevent the rescuer from becoming another victim on the scene. Thus, before touching the victim, the source must be de-energized, that is, turn off the main switch and call the necessary medical assistance.

We warn that the fact that the victim is breathing does not mean that everything is fine! Make a quick assessment of her physical condition, as there may be burns, fractures or injuries that are very common when the shock results in a fall. In addition, monitor vital signs constantly.

When evaluating vital signs and perceiving a cardiorespiratory arrest, start resuscitation maneuvers immediately, so it is essential that you have done a first aid course before, continue with resuscitation maneuvers until specialized medical care arrives at the site, even when the victim shows no signs of recovery.

How to avoid electric shock:

Any electrical wire can be a potential hazard, so the tip may seem quite obvious, but stay away from any loose wires and prevent people from getting close.

Appliances such as the iron, ironing boards and hairdryers should never be used while the person is barefoot and not used in damp places.

Do not change showers or lamps without turning off the main switch, otherwise the risk of electric shocks increases, especially in wet environments, such as bathrooms.

Plugs are the main attractions for children and this is extremely dangerous! To avoid electrical accidents with objects plugged into the outlet, cover the outlets with plastic safety caps. In addition, there are already sockets with a protection system, to prevent objects from being pushed inside, considerably reducing the risk of electric shock .

Small children and pets should be kept away from electrical cables, as they can chew on them, damaging the cable insulation and reaching the conductive part.