An electric shock occurs when an electric current passes through your body. The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the case. It may include loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, headache, burns, irregular heartbeat, and more.
A range of things can also cause an electric shock, such as power lines, lightning, electric machinery, tasers, outlets, and more. Remember that household appliance shocks are usually less severe, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be more serious if a child chews on an electric cord our puts their mouth on an outlet. Other factors that affect how serious the electric shock is include voltage, length of time in contact, overall health, and the electricity’s path through the body.
As a prepper, providing first-aid is one of the many skills you need to possess as accidents may occur not only when SHTF, but even on regular days when you’re at home or if you’re on an outdoor adventure with your friends.
What to Do if You’ve Been Shocked
If someone gets electrically shocked, they may not need emergency treatment but internal damages may occur and it is still recommended to go see a doctor. But what would you do if it’s a medical emergency? Here’s how to provide first-aid to an electric shock victim.
Turn off Power
To turn off the power, all you have to do is unplug the appliance if the plug is not damaged or shut off through a circuit breaker, fuse box, or outside switch. However, if you can’t turn off the power, stand on something dry and non-conductive and try to separate the person from current using a non-conductive object such as a wooden or plastic broom handle, chair, or rubber doormat. But if high voltage lines are involved, authorities must shut them off and you shouldn’t attempt to separate the person from the current.
Ask someone to call 911 while you’re assisting the victim. The personnel may instruct you further in providing first-aid. If the person seems fine after being shocked, you may opt not to call 911 as long as you go to a doctor immediately. Again, even if the person looks fine, internal damages may still occur.
As soon as you can safely touch the person and notice that they are not breathing or are not having a pulse, do CPR on them. Watch this video to learn how to administer CPR for children.
Meanwhile, here’s how to do CPR for adults.
Wait for the Doctors
While waiting for the emergency rescuers to arrive, check for other injuries. For instance, if the victim is bleeding, apply pressure and elevate the wound if it’s an arm or leg. If the person fell after being shocked, check for fractures. Burns may also exist so make sure you know how to treat them while waiting for 911.
A doctor will check the person for these as well and will recommend ECG, blood tests, urine tests, CT scans, or MRI. There is also a possibility that the person will be admitted to the hospital for a few days.
Burns may require the person to use topical antibiotics and dressings. More severe ones will require surgery or even amputation.
There is also a possibility that the eyes are affected, so an eye specialist or an opthalmologist will require an examination and a few medicines for treatment. Broken burns will be treated through splinting, casting, or surgery. Other organs in your body may also be affected so further examinations, observations, and surgery may also be required.