PMID: 8228110Jul 1, 1993Paper

Electric shock, Part II: Nature and mechanisms of injury

The Journal of Emergency Medicine
R Fish


Virtually every part of the body can be injured by electric current. The extent of injury to any given tissue will depend on many factors, including the nature of the tissue and the amount and duration of the electric current. In addition, cardiac and respiratory arrest can be induced by a number of mechanisms with little or no immediate tissue damage. Burns can be caused by the heating of tissue by electric current and by other mechanisms. Secondary trauma may result from falls, explosions, and other events initiated by electric forces. Nervous tissue has the least resistance to current flow and is thus more easily damaged. Part II in this 3-part series will discuss nervous tissue damage first, followed by discussions of damage to tissues of increasingly greater electric resistance. These are blood vessels, muscle, skin, and bone. Less common injuries are discussed last.


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