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Electric Shock

Brief low-voltage shocks that do not result in any symptoms or burns of the skin do not require care.  For any high-voltage shock, or for any shock resulting in burns, seek care at a hospital's emergency department.  A doctor should evaluate electric cord burns to the mouth of a child.

Shocks that do not travel through the body cavities, such as across the thumb and a finger, often do not require treatment.  In general, the amount of current delivered to the tissue is what causes the damage.

Medical Treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of the burns or the nature of other injuries found.

  • Burns are treated according to severity. 
    • Minor burns may be treated with topical antibiotic ointment and dressings.
    • More severe burns may require surgery to clean the wounds or even skin grafting.
    • Severe burns on the arms, legs, or hands may require surgery to remove damaged muscle or even amputation.
  • Other injuries may require treatment. 
    • Eye injuries may require examination and treatment by an ophthalmologist, an eye specialist.
    • Broken bones require splinting, casting, or surgery to stabilize the bones.
    • Internal injuries may require observation or surgery.

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