Electrical Injuries

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 1000 people in the United States die each year due to electrical injuries. Electrical injuries represent the 4th leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States.

Electrical injuries are also responsible for approximately 3-5% of all pediatric burn unit admissions and emergency department burn visits. The type and severity of electrical injuries depends on the following factors: 

  • the power source 
  • voltage and length of contact with the power source 
  • type of current

Power Sources

Electrical injuries occur in two primary settings: (1) in occupational settings, usually involving adults, and (2) in household settings, usually involving children. Examples are: •

  • overhead and downed power lines 
  • construction sites 
  • electrical wiring boxes 
  • utility poles 
  • hair dryers and curling irons 
  • frayed or cut power cords 
  • altered and defective products 
  • faulty wiring 
  • faulty power tools 
  • improper grounding 
  • placement of electrical appliances near water
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