What to do During and After Electric Shock Emergencies

Electric Shock Emergencies

Do Not Touch the Victim with Your Bare Hands to Free Them from the Power Source

In case you thought it was just an old wives’ tale, yes, you really will get shocked if you touch someone who is stuck to a power source. You won’t be helping, you’ll just be making things worse. The best thing to do is shut off the power. But time is of the essence, so if you can’t do that fast enough knock them off with something that is dry and insulated. Generally something made of wood, rubber or PVC. Yes, a wooden broom handle or chair is perfectly acceptable.

With High Voltage, Stay Back At Least 20 Feet

If they are being shocked with high voltage, it’s a different story. The current can travel through the air and zap you, so you need to stay at least 20 feet away until the power is shut off. If you’re dealing with downed lines that are dancing and sparking, stay back even farther and be mindful of puddles.

Once It’s Safe

Injuries from electric shock are typically far worse than they appear because internal injuries can be involved this includes internal burns from the current, spinal cord injuries from falls, and broken bones and fractures from involuntary muscle contractions caused by the current. Do not move the victim unless you must for safety. If they are not breathing, administer CPR right away and continue until help arrives. Cover them with a blanket or coat to keep them warm.

Getting Medical Treatment

All electric shock victims should seek medical evaluation, even if they seem fine. This is because there can be damage to internal organs from the electricity that flowed through the body. Call 911 or seek emergency medical treatment if the following symptoms are present:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle pain and cramps
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Heart or breathing has stopped at any point during the event, even if only briefly

If you or someone you love was injured in an electrical accident, contact an accident attorney in your area.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.