Have you suffered an electrical burn? Getting hurt is never easy. According to the American Burn Association, approximately 450,000 people require medical attention after suffering a burn injury in the United States every year. Electrical burns are especially dangerous because they may not appear severe. Sometimes, these types of burns are invisible on the surface of the victim’s skin. Because of the unique nature of electrical burns, the extent of tissue damage beneath the skin may be difficult to determine without the aid of a doctor.
Because electrical burns are so dangerous, doctors recommend that specific first-aid medical actions be taken to help victims. After calling for medical assistance, do not touch a victim of an electrical burn; he/she may still be near the electrical source or in contact with it. If this is the case, touching the victim may pass the electrical current along to you. If possible, identify the source of the electrical current and disable it. If you are unable to turn off the electrical current, move it away from you and the victim. Use a dry, non-conductive object made out of cardboard, wood or plastic to move the source safely.
Next, check for signs of circulation. This includes breathing, coughing or any source of movement. If you cannot detect any signs of circulation, you may need to begin CPR immediately. In order to prevent the victim from going into shock, lay him/her down. The victim’s head should be slightly lower than his/her torso and the legs should be elevated. If you can visually identify any severe burns, cover them with a sterile bandage. If no gauze is available, a clean piece of fabric may suffice. Avoid using towels or blankets – these types of fabrics may shed loose fibers into the injury.
There are several types of electrical burns:
Low voltage burns are the result of physical contact with a power source of 500 volts or less. Tissue damage will only result at the place of contact; low voltage burns are not strong enough to cause tissue damage anywhere else. On the other hand, high-voltage burns can cause extensive damage. If the electrical current is strong enough that the current runs through the victim’s entire body, it is considered a high voltage burn. Arc burns occur when electricity travels from a high resistance area to a low resistance area and strikes the victim. The force of an arc burn may throw the victim and cause extensive injuries.
Flash burns are the result of high-energy electrical bursts passing over the individual’s skin. They are cause surface damage, but the heat from flash burn may cause severe scarring and tissue damage under certain circumstances. Oral burns are usually suffered by young children. They are the caused by the victim biting or sucking on an electrical cord or wire. Typically, the electrical current travels from one side of the victim’s mouth to the other and may cause severe damage. In extreme cases, oral electrical injuries leave the victim with scars.
If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical burn injury because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, contact a burn injury lawyer from our office today. At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we are wholeheartedly dedicated to helping people like you get the compensation they need. Electrical burns can occur at home, at work or a multitude of other places. Has your child suffered an electrical burn injury because a day care provider failed to provide a safe environment? Did you employer fail to provide a hazard free work space for you? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering and our New York City personal injury lawyers can help you obtain the money you need and deserve. Contact us at our office today to see how we can help.