Electrical injuries, with special reference to the upper extremities. A review of 182 cases

American Journal of Surgery
E D Butler, T D Gant

Abstract

A twenty year experience in the management of 182 patients with electrical injuries has been reviewed. Males predominate. The average age is thirty-six years. Bodily contact with high tension wires by linemen constituted the most common accidents. High voltage injuries were sustained by 67% of patients. Burns were sustained by 74% of our cases and of these, 71% involved the upper extremities. Complications developed in three fourths of patients, and one third of patients suffered some degree of permanent disability. Mortality (2.1%) was largely due to septicemia, pneumonia, and renal failure. The wide variety of injuries necessitates individualization in treatment. Prevention offers greatest hope in management.

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