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Electrical Injuries

Tim Horeczko, MD, MSCR, Matthew DeLaney, MD, and Mizuho Morrison, DO
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When evaluating a child with a potential electrical injury there are four main questions to consider:

1. Household or Industrial electricity?

2. What was the pathway of the current?

3. What was the contact time?

4. Are there any associated injuries?

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Lauren F. -

Great topic! Great information from the medical perspective and definitely makes me know what to look for in terms of symptoms patients present with and what to look for in the physical exam. A recommendation though regarding the explanation of AC/DC. My husband is an engineer and thought the explanation was quite humorous. He recommends that you consult an electrician that works in commercial/industrial to know what is most common and where. The simple explanation of AC being residential and DC being industrial is unfortunately just not true. Most industrial facilities actually use AC. For a typical manufacturing environment, most large machines run on 480VAC 3 phase power. DC isn't as common. Therefore someone coming in with an injury sustained at a factory has the potential for being injured by AC or DC but will have most likely been in contact with AC. Nevertheless they will likely sustain a more severe injury due to contact with higher current, typically coming from a higher voltage.

Mike W., MD -

Interesting thoughts - thx for sharing!!
M

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