Electrical injuries

Contact injuries are treated surgically. Injuries caused by an electric arc are treated conservatively provided that the patient’s clothing has not caught fire; in such a case, the injury is classified as a flame injury. After the injury, the patient should be attached to a cardiac monitor (arrhythmias, infarction), if there was a heart arrest at the moment of the incident and/or arrhythmia at arrival to the emergency department. Rehydration should be considered in accordance with the extent of the burnt area. In electric burns, fluid requirement usually is greater than in ordinary burn injuries. Rhabdomyolysis-induced renal failure should be prevented with enhanced diuresis and alkalisation of urine. Prophylaxis: early preventive fasciotomy decreases the pressure in muscle compartments. Cardiac function should be observed in a monitor after the injury if cardiac arrest, arrhythmia or otherwise abnormal ECG was documented during transportation or at the emergency department.