Every person is unique and therefore our bodies react differently. What may be considered a small shock to one person may seriously injure or kill another person. Long-term effects of electrical contact can manifest differently in each person showing in an array of forms and symptoms. Often times the injured person may be told that the symptoms do not make sense or the symptoms just are not possible. This occurs because electrical injury is largely misunderstood.
Just because a burn is not noticeable, does not mean an injury does not exist.
The skin acts as a barrier to the flow of electricity and people often look for burns on the skin at the point where the electrical current entered the body and at the point where the electrical current exited the body. Burns are the most common symptom of an electrical contact. Once the electrical current enters the body, the neuro- and muscle tissues suffer the most damage.
The electrical current takes a path inside the body between the point of entry and the point of exit. The electrical current follows a path of low resistance. This means the electrical current will travel through high conductive parts of the body like muscle tissue, fluid and nerves rather than the low conductive parts of the body like bones.
As the electrical current makes its path through the body, it causes serious injury. Injuries include but are not limited to:
- Cardiac and/or respiratory arrest
- Blunt trauma (as a result of a fall or forceful throw of the body caused by the electrical contact)
- Ruptured eardrums
- Skin burns
- Limb amputation
- Pain or decreased sensation in legs
- Muscle aches and tremors
- Cognitive and psychological symptoms similar to traumatic brain injury (also known as “postelectric shock syndrome”)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic pain
- Increased risk for substance abuse as a result of self-medicating to help with the pain
- Vertigo and tinnitus
- Mental disorders
A person who does not show signs of a burn or immediate injury may develop symptoms over a period of time. Because the medical community did not immediately administer treatment, the person does not receive the same medical attention as that of a burn victim and the chances for successful rehabilitation have decreased.
If you are the victim of electrical contact caused by:
- an unsafe work environment
- OSHA safety violations
- faulty or defective wiring
- absence of proper warning
- power lines
- contractor negligence
- construction accident
- other negligent situation
Call us today at 312-888-6058if you have sustained any type of electrical contact injuries.