ELECTRICAL SHOCKS
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26-02-2011, 10:25 AM



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ELECTRICAL SHOCKS
ELECTRIC SHOCK

• Occurs when electrical current passes through the body
• Causes devastating injuries or even death
Why are we prone to shocks?
• Because our bodies are good conductors of electricity.
• When a part of our body completes an electric circuit, we get an electric shock
• You will receive a shock if you touch two wires at different voltages at the same time.
Causes of electric shocks
 Accidental contact with exposed electrical wiring
 Contact with a high voltage source
 Contact with a person who is receiving an electric shock
 Contact with a live and neutral wires
 Due to a lightning strike
 Poking metal objects into an electrical outlet
 Touching an electrical appliance with wet hands
TYPES OF ELECTRIC SHOCKS
 MACRO SHOCKS
 Most common type of shock
 Occurs when current flows across intact skin and through the body
 MICRO SHOCKS
 Occurs when there is a direct current path to the heart tissue
 Usually these shocks are from inside the skin, i.e. a malfunctioning pacemaker, or ungrounded catheter etc.
CONSIDERATIONS
 A basic electric circuit has three components: voltage, current, and resistance.
 The killer component is current.
 According to Ohm’s law,
V= IR
 Resistance of the body varies from one person to another, moisture content between different layers of skin
Typical skin resistance : 500 Ω (moist skin) to 300,000 Ω (dry skin)
 The low resistance of wet skin allows current to pass into the body more easily and give a greater shock.
The severity of an electrical shock depends on –
 The amount of electrical current through the body
 The duration of the current through the body
 The path of the current through the body
 The muscle structure of the person
Electrical shocks can occur in several forms, and the given description applies to various levels
Fibrillation level: This is a function of current over time. For example, you will get fibrillation
with 500mA over 0.2 sec or 75mA over 0.5 sec.
Let-go threshold: This is the current level at which humans lose muscle control; the electricity causes muscles to contract until current is removed
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