Which respiratory findings are characteristic 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

Chest wall muscle paralysis from tetanic contraction may cause respiratory arrest if the current pathway is over the thorax. Injury to the respiratory control center of the brain can also cause respiratory arrest. The lungs are a poor conductor of electricity and generally are not as susceptible to direct injury from current as tissues with lower resistance. Case reports have described pneumothorax after electrical injury. [28]


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