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Electrical Injuries

Also called: Electric shock, Electrical burn


When you come in direct contact with electricity, it can pass through your body and cause injuries. These electrical injuries can be external or internal. You may have one or both types. External injuries are skin burns. Internal injuries include damage to your organs, bones, muscles, and nerves. You could also have abnormal heart rhythms and cardiac arrest.

How bad your injuries are depends on how strong the electric current was, what type of current it was, how it moved through your body, and how long you were exposed. Other factors include how healthy you are, and how quickly you get treatment.

Causes of electrical injuries include

  • Lightning strikes
  • Faulty electrical appliances
  • Work-related exposures
  • Contact with household wiring or power lines
  • Accidents in small children, when they bite or suck on electrical cords, or stick objects in outlets

If you get an electrical injury, you should see a doctor. You may have internal damage and not realize it.


  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Center to Protect Workers' Rights) - PDF Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Consumer Product Safety Commission) - PDF
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.) Also in
  • (National Weather Service)
  • (National Weather Service)
  • (National Weather Service)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Patient Handouts

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