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Electricity travels through conductors - any material which allows electrical flow - as it tries to reach the ground. Because people make excellent conductors, minor electric shock is a common household hazard. Fortunately it is usually more surprising than dangerous and does not require medical attention. However, some basic precautions should be taken to insure that the shock does not interfere with the body's normal electrical impulses including the functions of the brain and the heart. Prolonged exposure to a direct source of electricity can also cause severe burns to the skin and the tissue.

In the event of electric shock do NOT rush to assist the victim until you are certain that he is no longer in contact with electricity. Otherwise the current will pass through the victim directly to you.

  • If at all possible, turn off the source of electricity (i.e. light switch, circuit breaker, etc.) If this is not an option, use non-conductive material such as plastic or dry wood to separate the source of electricity from the victim.
  • If the injuries appear serious or extensive, dial 9-1-1.
  • Check the victim's vitals signs such as the depth of his breathing and regularity of his heart beat. If either one is effected by exposure to electricity or if the victim is unconscious, begin to perform CPR.
  • Treat any areas of the victim's body that may've sustained burns.
  • If the victim is responsive and does not appear seriously injured but looks pale or faint, he may be at risk of going into shock. Gently lay him down with his head slightly lower than his chest and his feet elevated.
     
 
 
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