Electrical injuries in the emergency department: an evidence-based review

Emerg Med Pract. 2018 Nov;20(11):1-20. Epub 2018 Nov 1.


Electrical injuries can be caused by exposure to current from low-voltage and high-voltage sources as well as lightning strikes, and the circumstances of the exposure will dictate management strategies. Human tissues have varying resistance characteristics and susceptibility to damage, so injuries may be thermal, electrical, and/or mechanical, potentially causing burns, thrombosis, tetany, falls, and blast injury. This issue reviews the types of trauma seen with electrical injury and how body systems can be affected by occult or delayed effects, and the optimal evidence-based resuscitation and management strategies associated with each.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electric Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Electric Injuries / physiopathology
  • Electric Injuries / therapy*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans