Electrical burns often involve more damage then a typical surface burn. An arch of electricity can have temperatures of 7000-8000 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the type of burn, there may be internal as well as external damage to the skin and body.
What Are Electrical Burns?
When a person comes in contact with a flow of electricity, the current is attracted to the internal structure of the human body. Electricity tends to be attracted to the paths of least resistance and the internal tissues and dermis (the deeper layers of skin) offer low resistance. The outer skin, the epidermis, offers some resistance, but not enough to stop most electrical flows. There are a few different types of electrical burns:
- Flash. No direct contact, but the heat from the current leaves a burn
- Electrical arcs. These can cause deep thermal burns.
- Direct contact. This is the most dangerous as it can burn the skin but also the current may travel through the body, causing burns and damage internally.
Electrical Burns Sustained in Accidents
Most electrical burns happen in an occupational setting for adults. Children are more likely to be burned in a residential setting. The common reasons for electrical burns are:
- Children chewing on electrical cords or sticking objects in outlets
- Electrical current left on while making repairs to objects or wiring
- Power line accidents on the job or downed power lines
- Unmarked electrical lines
Medical Treatment Commonly Required for People With Electrical Burns
There are many different levels of treatment, depending on the severity and type of burn.
- Low-voltage or flash burns. These are the most common types of burns as they often come from the electrical cords and appliances that are in most homes. The surface burn will need to be treated. If there is deeper damage, there may be surgery need to remove dead tissue or repair bones or tendons.
- Oral cavity burns. These mostly happen to children who put an electrical item into their mouths. The burns will be treated similar to low-voltage burns, but there is often permanent scar tissue and sometimes speech impediments.
- High voltage burns. In many high voltage burns, there will be both an entering and exit wound. These are deep, severe burns that will need surface treatment and possibly surgery to do debridement, or removal of dead tissue. There can be muscle damage and in some cases, amputation may even be needed. Any internal damage to the neurological and cardiovascular systems will also need to be treated.
Prognosis for people recovering from an electrical burn
Most electrical surface burns will heal in several weeks, although oral cavity burns can take months to heal. If there is muscle, bone or tendon damage, this may take surgery and many months of rehabilitation. Since there are many different levels and types of electrical burns, the prognosis will depend on the individual situation but it can be anywhere from few weeks to heal or may take months or years to recuperate, and can leave life-long disabilities.Legal Help for People With Electrical Burn Injuries From A Law Firm With Experience Handling These Cases
Many electrical burns are sustained in an industrial setting or on a construction site. In these situations, an investigation commonly demonstrates that the electrical burn was due to a dangerous condition that was created by the negligence of a worker or company. Depending on whom the responsible party may be, the injured worker may be entitled to pursue a lawsuit or workers compensation claim to recover financial compensation for his or her medical expenses, lost income and disability. Our electrical burn lawyers understand the stresses these injuries put on you and your family. Put our team to work for you today. 888-424-5757
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