What is the pathophysiology of electrical injuries?

Updated: Mar 09, 2020
  • Author: Tracy A Cushing, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAWM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Electricity is generated by the flow of electrons across a potential gradient from high to low concentration through a conductive material. The voltage (V) represents the magnitude of this potential difference and is usually determined by the electrical source. The type and extent of an electrical injury is determined by voltage, current strength, resistance to flow, the duration of contact with the source, the pathway of flow, and the type of current (ie, direct or alternating).


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