electric shock(redirected from Genital electrocution)
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injury caused by electric current. Such injuries most often occur in the home or at the workplace; they also result from contact with lightning.
The severity of an electric shock varies with the parameters and duration of the current. Currents under 10 milliamperes (ma) produce only unpleasant sensations and, in more severe cases, involuntary muscular contraction near the point of contact with the electric wire (for example, arm muscles). Contact with a current of 15 ma causes muscular contraction so strong that it is impossible to free the fingers holding the wire. Currents of 25 ma or greater cause all the muscles of the body to go into spasm, including the respiratory muscles, thereby threatening death from asphyxia. Also disturbed are the nervous and cardiovascular systems. There is loss of consciousness, and clinical death occurs, requiring resuscitative efforts. An alternating current of about 100 ma acts directly on the heart, causing fibrillation and requiring the use of a defibrillator to restore normal rhythmic contractions. An alternating current of about 450–500 volts (v) is more dangerous than a direct current of the same voltage; however, at higher voltages direct currents are more dangerous. Currents greater than 350 v give rise to local changes—third and fourth degree electric burns in the places where the current enters and leaves the body. The changes differ in extent, from tiny “marks” to charring of a limb.
The prognosis for a victim of an electric shock depends on the promptness with which he is given first aid, which includes quick removal from contact with the current and, in severe cases, artificial respiration and cardiac massage. Hospitalization after electric shock is essential to treat burns and neurovascular disturbances. Electric shock can be prevented by strict compliance with safety rules in assembling, operating, and repairing electrical devices.
REFERENCEBerezneva, V. I. Elektrotravma, elektroozhogi i ikh lechenie. Leningrad, 1964.
V. F. POZHARISKII