(3) Temporary paralysis. The patient may experience temporary paralysis.
This can be the result of extensive neurological damage from the electric current
passing through the cells of the body. Paralysis may cause the patient's respirations to
(4) Heart. Effects of an electrical shock on the heart range from temporary
fibrillation to complete cardiac arrest or permanent tissue damage. If electric current
passes through the heart, death may occur immediately caused by ventricular fibrillation
or the temporary suspension of breathing (apnea). Cardiopulmonary arrest is the most
frequent cause of death at the scene.
(5) Kidneys, spinal cord, and brain. Kidneys, spinal cord, and brain are
often severely damaged.
(6) Entry wound/exit wound. The entry wound is the place where electricity
entered the body. The exit wound is where electricity left the body. The entry wound is
usually a blood-deprived, whitish-yellow, coagulated area. Sometimes this wound will
be charred or depressed with well-defined edges. The exit wound normally looks as if
the electric current exploded as it left the body.
(7) Skin. Skin damage may vary from small circular spots to large areas of
(8) Blood vessels. Blood vessels supplying the skin are often destroyed.
Blood clots may be seen for some distance surrounding the original wound. A limb that
initially seems to be only minimally damaged may become deprived of blood in a few
days and, finally, become gangrenous.
(9) Late-appearing complications. Additional complications that may not
appear immediately include the following:
(a) Nerve damage.
(b) Severe pain along nerve channels.
Spinal cord lesions and injuries.
(d) Cardiac abnormalities.
(e) Rapid heartbeat for several weeks.
(g) Death of muscle tissue.