What is the role of voltage in the pathogenesis 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

Electrical injuries are typically divided into high-voltage and low-voltage injuries, using 500V or 1000V as the cutoff. High morbidity and mortality has been described in 600V direct current injury associated with railroad "third rail" contact. [2] In the United States and Canada, typical household electricity provides 110V for general use and 240V for high-powered appliances, while industrial electrical and high-tension power lines can have more than 100,000V. [3] Voltage is directly proportional to current and indirectly proportional to resistance, as expressed by Ohm's Law:

V = I X R; where I = current, V = voltage, R = resistance.


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