How does low-voltage alternating current cause 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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Generally, 2 types of low-voltage injury occur: children biting into electrical cords producing lip, face, and tongue injuries, or the adult who becomes grounded while touching an appliance or other object that is energized. The latter type of injury is decreasing with the increasing use of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in circuits where people might easily become grounded. GFCIs stop current flow in the event of a leakage current (ground fault) if the ground fault is greater than 0.005 amps (0.6 W at 120V).

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