How are the cutaneous findings of electrical injuries characterized?

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

A variety of burns and thermal injuries from electricity affect the skin and soft tissues. These are often the most severe sequelae of electrical burns after cardiac arrhythmias and may initially appear minor despite significant deep tissue injury subsequently requiring fasciotomy or amputation. Burns are often most severe at the source and ground contact points; the source is usually the hands or the head while the ground is often in the feet. The strength and duration of contact with the source largely influence the severity and extent of tissue damage. All burns should be carefully documented and, if possible, photographed.


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