(7) Downed household current line. If the downed wire is for a household
current, you can handle the wire safely in dry weather if you wear rubber gloves or use
a folded dry sheet or wooden stick. Do not attempt to move even a household current
line if the weather is humid.
Remember, truly dangerous wiring is always placed at the top of the
(8) Downed TV/telephone line. If the downed lines are television or
telephone lines, you can handle them safely with gloved hands, even if the lines are
(9) Doubt about downed line. When in doubt, do not touch a downed line.
Never assume that a downed line is dead unless the power company confirms this fact.
(10) Low voltage. Relatively low voltages such as 120 volt household current
can cause extensive injury to a person. The patient may look as if he has sustained just
a minor injury. Therefore, be careful when you approach a patient at a site where the
If you have a possible pool-drowning patient, check quickly in the water for
electrical cords or hazards. Before you enter the water to remove the patient,
brush lightly against the water. If you feel a tingle, turn off all the power at the
main switch before you enter the water.
(11) Scene evaluation. Make a visual sweep of the accident scene before
you attempt to treat the patient. Look for power cords and what they are attached to.
Especially, look for power cords that may be routed to a tool the patient may still be
(12) Plugged appliance. Pull the plug of any appliance which you believe
may have shocked the patient.
f. Treatment for an Electrical Injury Patient. Emergency treatment begins
with separating the patient from the electric current source, quick assessment of vital
functions, and emergency measures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and
defibrillation. Remember, it is vitally important in treating electrical burn casualties to
maintain the patient's airway and to monitor his cardiac status. Follow this procedure:
(1) First, protect yourself and the patient. Be sure you are both in a safe
zone, an area free from active electric current.
Immobilize the patient's spine, if possible, before you move him.
Start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately, if indicated.