The first steps to take when a person is in contact with an
electrical source are:
Have someone call 911 or other emergency
Do not touch the “electrified person” with your hands.
Unplug the appliance or turn off the main power switch.
Try to remove the person
from the electrical source, if you cannot turn the power off. Do this only if you can do so safely by:
Standing on a dry surface, such as a rubber
doormat or a pile of papers or books. Make sure you are not standing in or near
Using a dry wooden object, such as a broom handle, to push
the person away from the electrical source. Do not use anything wet or made of
Check to see if the person responds to touch or being talked to after separating him or her from the electrical source. Electrical burns can affect the electrical activity of the heart and
cause heartbeat changes. If the person is not
responding, start CPR. For more information, see the topic Dealing With Emergencies.
What should I do about electrical burns that aren’t as serious?
Rinse the burns with water, and apply a
bandage. There may be burns where the electrical current entered the body and
where it left the body.
Call your doctor to discuss
your burn injury. If you have a visible burn to the skin, an evaluation by your
doctor is usually needed.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O’Connor, MD – Emergency Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine