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Injuries that occur as a result of an electric shock can range from mild to severe, and can even be life threatening. An electrical shock injury occurs as a result of an individual coming into contact with any type of electric energy source. When exposure to an electrical energy source occurs, the individual experiences a surge of energy that pulses throughout a part of the body, resulting in a shock.
In mild cases, there may be no actual injury that occurs, but during a severe electric shock injury, devastating damage to the body can occur. Severe electrical shock injuries can be fatal.
There are several factors that determine the type and extent of the injuries that occur from an electric shock.
The severity of electric shock injuries depends on the various factors such as:
- the type of current that the individual came into contact with,
- the voltage involved and the amount of current it puts off,
- the resistance of the body’s tissue and the tissue’s ability to withstand the current,
- the route in the body that the electricity uses as its pathway to surge through the body.
During low voltage electric shock, significant damage does not usually occur. In the majority of these low voltage injuries, if they do occur, the damage is minimal.
Injuries that occur as a result of high voltage electric shock are serious and generally result in significant damage. Any voltage greater than 500 is considered high voltage.
Children and adults often are prone to different types of electric shock. Generally, children do not usually experience a serious electric shock injury. In most cases involving children, the injuries are mild and occur as a result of coming into contact with low voltage electricity that is under 220 volts. Common low voltage sources that injure children are household appliance electrical cords, wall outlets and extension cords. Adults are more likely to be exposed to and suffer injuries from a high voltage electrical shock. These high voltage injuries can occur in the home, although they are much more common in the workplace. Adults are susceptible to serious bodily harm as a result of these injuries.