Thermal burns, caused by contact with heat, flames, or steam, are not the only type of burns that can cause injuries.
Strong electrical currents can cause burns by passing through the body. These electrical burns may appear to be minor on the surface of the skin, but the damage from the current can cause extensive internal damage below the skin.
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If the electrical current is strong enough, it can also cause disruption to heart rhythms and may even cause cardiac arrest. If someone suffers an electrical burn, call 911 immediately if the victim is suffering from breathing problems, heart problems, confusion, or severe pain and do the following:
- Look first, but don’t touch the victim because the victim may still be in contact with the electrical source.
- If possible, turn off the source of electricity.
- Check the victims breathing and if needed begin CPR.
- If the person is breathing, cover the injured area with a sterile gauze bandage. Do not use a towel or blanket because loose fibers can stick to the skin.