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What is an electrical burn injury?

When most people think of burn injuries, they may visualize a house fire, car fire or an explosion of some sort that results in heat and fire due to a fuel or some other flammable substance burning. Although it is true that burn injuries can result from incidents involving fire, some other examples where an individual can suffer burn injuries include a chemical burn due to exposure or contact with a corrosive substance, and even an electrical shock which can result in burn injuries.

An electrical burn injury can happen to anyone either at home or work. Skin burns and other adverse effects, such as a cardiovascular and respiratory distress, can also result when an electric current passes through the human body. The human body is a great conductor of electricity. In fact, it is estimated that 400 lives are lost, and over 30,000 electrical shock incidents occur every year in the U.S. Furthermore, an estimated 5 percent of admissions in burn units in the U.S. are due to electrical burns.

An electric burn can result in tissue damage and also damage internal organs. The severity of an electrical burn will depend on a person's skin's resistance. Thus, if the skin resistance is high, the probability of skin burns will be lower. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that just because that are no visible external burns does not mean that there is no internal injury. When a person has suffered an electrical injury it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately.

The best way to avoid electrical injury and burns is to ensure that electrical wires are insulated and grounded. Regardless of the how a burn injury results, the consequences can be serious. The victim of a burn injury may be disfigured for life, may have to endure long painful procedures and the injuries may substantially limit their ability to work. Anyone who has questions about a personal injury which was due to some type of a burn injury may find it helpful to get more information about the legal options.

Source: Merck Manual, "Electrical Injuries," Accessed June 8, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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