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Home > Learning Point > Health education > First Aid Measures > How To Treat A Victim Of Electrical Shock

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How to Treat a Victim of Electrical Shock

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Securing the Environment:-

Check the victim-Check for the source of the electrical shock. Look to see if the victim is still in contact with the source. Remember that electricity can flow through the victim and into you.

  • Never use water, even if there is a fire, as water can conduct electricity.
  • Never enter an area where electrical equipment is used if the floor is wet.
  • Use a fire extinguisher made for electrical fires. Fire extinguishers for use on electrical fires will be labelled as a C, BC, or ABC extinguisher.

Shut off the current-If you can do so safely, turn off the electrical current. Don’t attempt to rescue someone near a high-voltage line. Shutting off the current at the power box, the circuit breaker or the fuse box. Follow these steps to turn the power off with a circuit breaker box:

  • Open the circuit breaker box. Look for a rectangular block, with a handle, at the top of the fuse box.
  • Grab the handle and flip it to the other side, just like a light switch.
  • Try turning on a light or other electrical device to double check the power is off.

Separate the victim from the source-Don’t touch the victim, even with a non-conducting instrument, if the electricity hasn’t been shut off. Once you’re sure there is no current, use a rubber or wooden stick, or any other non-conducting tool, to separate the victim from the source.

  • Examples of non-conducting materials include glass, porcelain, plastic and paper. Cardboard is another common, non-conducting material that you may use.
  • Conductors, which allow electricity to flow, include copper, aluminium, gold and silver.
  • If the victim has been hit by lightning, he or she is safe to touch.

Call ambulance-It is very important that you call as quickly as possible for help. The sooner you call, the sooner help will arrive. Explain your situation as calmly and clearly as you can when you make the call.

 

 

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Assisting the Victim:-

Place the victim in the recovery position-Placing the victim of electrical shock in the recovery position will ensure that her airway remains clear.

  • Place the arm nearest to you at a right angle with her body.
  • Place the other hand under the side of her head. The back of the hand should touch the cheek.
  • Bend the farthest knee at a right angle.
  • Roll the victim on the side. The top arm will support the head.
  • Lift the chin of the victim and check the airway.
  • Stay with the victim and monitor her breathing. Once in recovery position, don’t move the victim, as this can cause further injury.

Cover the victim in a blanket and wait-The victim will quickly cool down. You should try to wrap her in a thermal blanket to keep the body temperature regulated. Wait for the emergency services with the victim.

  • Don’t cover the body if there are large wounds or untreated burns.
  • Be gentle when you place the blanket over them.
  • When the emergency services arrive, give them what details you have. Explain very quickly the source of the danger. Notify them of any wounds you've noticed and the time of the accident. Don't try to interfere once they take over.

Talk to the victim-Try talking with the victim to learn more about her state. Pay careful attention to any responses and be ready to relay them to emergency services when they arrive.

  • Identify yourself and ask the victim what happened. Ask whether the victim has trouble breathing and if she is experiencing any pain.
  • Ask where sources of pain are located. This may identify any wounds or burns.
  • If the victim is unconscious, check the airway and listen for breathing.

Check the body-Check the victim’s body, starting with the head and moving down to the neck, chest, arms, stomach and legs. Look for any burns or other injuries that are immediately noticeable. Report injuries to emergency responders when they arrive. Don't manipulate or move any painful or wounded areas and don't touch any burns. Moving the victim can cause further injury.

  • Control any bleeding-If the victim is bleeding, try to stop or slow blood loss. Use a clean cloth to apply direct pressure. Continue pressing until the bleeding stops.
  • Do not remove the cloth if soaked with blood, add more layers to it.
  • Elevate the bleeding limb higher than the heart. Do not move the limb if you suspect a fracture.
  • Once bleeding stops, wrap the cloth in a bandage to secure it in place.
  • Wait for emergency services to arrive and inform them of the injury and what you have done to treat it.

Call ambulance back if the victims’ status worsens-If you notice any change in the victim’s condition or if you spot any new wounds, call emergency services again for further instructions.

 

 

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Performing CPR Safely Without Training:-

Remember to check ABC-In an emergency situation, it is important to assess the victim’s airways, breathing and circulatory system before performing CPR.

  • Check the victim’s airway. Look for any obstructions or signs of damage.
  • Watch to see if the victim is taking spontaneous breaths. Observe the victim to see if he or she is breathing normally. To do this, put your ear close to the victim’s nose and mouth and listen for any breathing. Never perform CPR if the victim is breathing or coughing.
  • If the patient is not breathing, then you will have to start CPR right away.

Get in position-You, and the victim, will need to be in the proper position to perform CPR. Follow these steps to ensure you are both in the right position for compression:

  • Put the person on her back and tilt the head back.
  • Kneel down next to the victims shoulders.
  • Place the heel of one hand over the centre of the person's chest, between the nipples.
  • Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands.

Begin compressions-After positioning yourself properly you may now begin compressions. Compressions can help keep the person alive, keeping oxygenated blood flowing to the brain.

  • Use your upper body weight, not just your arms, as you push straight down on the chest.
  • Push at least 2 inches (approximately 5 centimetres).
  • Push hard, at a rate of about 100 compressions a minute. Continue until the victim is breathing again or emergency services arrive.

 

 

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Treating Burns:-

Seek medical treatment for an electrical shock victim-Someone who has suffered even a mild burn from an electrical shock will require medical treatment. Do not attempt to treat the victim on your own. Call ambulance or take the victim to the nearest hospital.

Identify burned areas-Burn wounds have certain characteristics that can help you identify them. Look for any injuries on the victim that have one red skin, peeling skin, blisters, swelling, white or charred skin.

Rinse the burn-Electricity will usually enter the body in one place and leave in another. Inspect as much of the victim as you are able. Once you have identified injuries, cool the burns with cool water for ten minutes.

Remove clothes and jewellery-It’s important to remove clothes and the jewellery near the burn to avoid further damage. Some clothing or jewellery may still be hot from the electrical shock and can continue to damage the victim.

  • Don’t try to remove melted clothes or pieces of tissue stuck in a wound.
  • Don’t cover the victim with a regular blanket if burned, as this may cause infection.

Cover the burn-Covering the burn will help protect the area from any further damage and lower the risk of infection. Try using the to cover a burn sterilized gauze bandage, clean cloth, avoid towels or blankets, do not apply adhesive bandages.

Wait for the ambulance-Once the victim is stabilized, you should stay with her and try to offer reassurance.

 

 

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