Neurologic and neuropsychological symptoms during the first year after an electric shock: results of a prospective multicenter study

Am J Emerg Med. 2008 May;26(4):413-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2007.06.021.


Objectives: To assess the prevalence of neurologic and neuropsychological symptoms in the short-term and 1 year after an electric shock and to explore whether any of these were associated with risk factors.

Methods: Patients presenting to one of 21 EDs between October 2000 and November 2004 were eligible to be enrolled in a prospective observational study after an electric shock if they had risk factors for late arrhythmias. Telephone follow-up was done to evaluate the appearance of symptoms.

Results: A total of 30 (26%) of 114 patients complained of neurologic or neuropsychological symptoms at a median of 52 days post-electric shock. At 1 year, 24 (28%) of 86 patients complained of neurologic or neuropsychological symptoms. None of the risk factors evaluated were associated with the symptoms.

Conclusion: The prevalence of the symptoms we observed should alarm all emergency physicians that the effect of electricity can cause late neurologic and neuropsychological manifestations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Child
  • Electric Injuries / complications*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors