Contact with an electrical source may result in electrical burns. In the United States, approximately 1,000 individuals die each year from electrical burns. These types of burns are extremely dangerous, as an electric current may harm tissues and internal organs, while also causing the skin to burn.
In some electrical burn cases, burns are not visible on the skin, however, internal injuries have happened. A patient may fall or be thrown by an electrical shock, resulting in fractures or other types of injuries. To prevent electrical burns, care should be taken at all times with electricity.
Electrical Burns Causes
Harm can occur from even minor contact with electricity because the human body is capable of conducting electricity. Touching electrical outlets, falling into electrified water, and grasping live wires can produce electrical burns as well as other injuries. Direct contact with power lines is the cause for approximately 50 percent of all electrical burns.
Certain vocations place people at increased risk for electrical burns, including cable servicing, construction, and electrical repair. Yet, even professions such as dentistry or technology may inadvertently place an employee in harm’s way due to the possibility of electrical equipment and electrical cords falling into disrepair. As more electrical equipment is introduced into the workplace and home with the advancement of technology the occurrence of electrical burns will continue to rise.
Electrical Burn Types
Electrical burns are divided into six main types. A victim of an electrical burn may have more than one type present. All burns should be managed and treated according to the type of burn.
Arc Burn Type
Direct contact with an electrical source is not required for an arc burn. Electrical energy moving from a location of high resistance to a location of low resistance this type of burn. When air particles become ionized the circuit is complete.
Low Voltage Burn Type
Contact with an electrical source with less than 500 volts causes low voltage burns. Typically, a low voltage burn is mild, injuring only the skin. Harm to organs or tissues does not occur due to the low voltage.
High Voltage Burn Type
Direct contact with a high voltage electrical source occurs with high voltage burns. Damage to tissues and organs can occur from current running through the patient’s body. In a high voltage burn, the amount of skin damage may be deceptive.
Flash Burn Type
Electrical arcs on the skin are the cause of flash burns. These types of burns do not penetrate tissue with most harming the skin. Large areas of skin can receive extensive damage from arc burns.
Flame Burn Type
Other types of electrical burns, such as flash burns or arc burns are the cause of flame burns. A flame is created when the source of the burn, ignites. Oftentimes, people with flame burns have injuries from other burn types.
Oral Burn Type
Children are often the victim of oral burns, with biting into an electrical cord is the most common cause. Extensive damage to the mouth occurs as current passes in the mouth from one side to the other. In some cases, oral burns are caused by faulty dental equipment.
Electrical Burn Treatment
Electrical burns may be complicated to treat. The source of the victim’s burn may cause injury to an individual if they come in contact with the victim while the victim still has contact with the electrical source. If possible, the electrical source should be turned off or removed by using an object made of rubber, plastic, or wood, electricity is not conducted by these materials. To prevent injury from seizures or shock, the burn victim should be laid down.
Electrical Burn Assessment
The burn victim’s injury should be assessed after the victim is moved out of danger. The victim should be transported to a medical facility for treatment if there are risks of internal injuries. For victims having trouble breathing, it is important to administer CPR. Using running water, the burn should be cooled and loosely covered for the prevention of infection.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a burn accident caused by the negligence of an entity or another person, contact a Louisiana burn injury lawyer to learn about your right to compensation. Ensure your rights are protected by having an experienced New Orleans attorney by your side every step of the way.