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.