The first thing to do when someone is being electrocuted is to turn off the power, if possible. Next, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not attempt to help someone or even approach someone suffering from an electrocution until the person is no longer in contact with the electrical source or the electricity is safely turned off.
Calling 9-1-1 and seeking immediate medical attention is urgent for all electrical shock injuries. Even when there are no visible burns to the skin, there are often internal injuries caused by electrical currents that, when left untreated, could prove to be fatal or result in long-term disability and pain. Traumatic brain injury caused by electrical shock injury is also common.
Do you know what to do when someone is being electrocuted?
Here is what you need to do when someone is being electrocuted: (1) turn off the source of electricity (if possible); (2) call 9-1-1; and (3) do not approach the person or attempt to render first aid until the person is no longer in contact with the electricity source that caused the shock or electrocution.
What to do when someone is being electrocuted by downed power lines?
You should take the following safety steps when someone has suffered an electrocution by downed power lines: (1) call the power or utility company responsible for the downed power lines; (2) call 9-1-1; (3) stay away from the electrocution victim until the utility company has verified that it has de-energized the power lines.
What should you do when someone is being electrocuted but the power may still be on?
The safest thing to do when someone is being electrocuted – but the power may not have been shut off yet – is to wait to approach and render first aid to the victim. Until the power has been shut off, the step potential of the electrical current could electrocute you even if you do not have direct contact with it.
A source of electricity that has caused an electrocution – such as a live, downed power line – emits rings of voltage that travel outward away from the source and from the electrocution victim. The voltage is strongest and the most dangerous when it is closest to its source. As such, the voltage decreases as the rings move further away. The danger of electrocution arises if and when you try to help the electrocution victim and your feet end up in different rings of electrical current with different voltages.
The difference in voltage between your feet can cause the electrical current from either of the voltage rings to enter and surge through your body, resulting in electrocution.
What to do when someone has come in contact with electricity in a swimming pool
The #1 most important safety tip of what to do when someone is being electrocuted in a swimming pool is: DO NOT ENTER THE WATER. If you do, you may also suffer an electrocution in water from the electrical current in the pool water. Next, immediately turn all off power sources connected to or near the pool.
To help a person suffering from an electrocution in a swimming pool, use a non-conductive, carbon fiber rod (such as a fiberglass Shepherd’s crook/rescue hook) to the person to loop the person’s body and pull them (face up) to safety.
As soon as you become aware that an electrocution is taking place in a swimming pool, you or someone else should immediately call 9-1-1.
First aid treatment
The first aid treatments that should be considered include: (1) mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if the person is not breathing or having difficulty; (2) CPR (by someone trained) if the electrocution victim’s heart has stopped beating; (3) rolling a victim on his or her side if he or she is vomiting or has lost consciousness; and (4) call 9-1-1.
For an electrocution victim who is not breathing, an (AED) Automated External Defibrillator may be used if one is available.
It is essential to get prompt medical attention when someone is being electrocuted. A doctor specialized in treating burn victims will know to examine for: (1) contact points showing where a burn occurred; (2) fractures; (3) dislocations; and (4) neurological deficits. Trained medical staff will also know how to diagnose full-thickness thermal burns, internal injuries, and provide necessary spine assessment and immobilization.
Get help from an experienced electric shock injury lawyer
If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity, you can call and speak with Jeff Feldman, arguably the nation’s most experienced electric shock accident attorney. Jeff has litigated cases involving low hanging power lines and against utility companies in multiple states and consults with lawyers throughout the country on electric shock injury and wrongful death cases involving electricity. You can call Jeff toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.