Speed is of the essence if someone suffers an electrical shock. Although it's vital to first call 911 or a medical office for electrical injury care, it's also important to begin life-saving treatment while awaiting the arrival of the emergency medical team.
1. Clear the Area of Risks
Do not rush in to help a shock victim unless you are sure that the source of the shock has been severed. This means shutting down electricity to the devices that have caused the shock. If there is a live wire that can't be deactivated, you must wait for emergency services to arrive. For lightning strikes, it is necessary to allow the energy from the strike to taper out.
2. Beware Conductivity
Even though there is no new electricity flowing to the victim, you can still be shocked simply by touching them. Use a wooden stick, such as a broom handle, to move the item that caused the shock away from the person. If that isn't possible, then use the wooden item to move the person away from the shocking device. If they are in water that was electrified, roll them onto dry land.
3. Begin CPR If Needed
Once they are cleared of the electricity origination, you may need to begin emergency recovery procedures. If they are not breathing, then CPR is necessary. Only a person that is properly trained in CPR should complete this task. Otherwise, it is necessary to wait for emergency services to arrive, unless the emergency operator tells you to do otherwise.
4. Provide First Aid
First aid may be necessary while you await emergency services. Avoid touching or covering any burns. If there is active bleeding, you will need to use a clean bandage or cloth to apply pressure and stem the blood flow. If the victim is unconscious, turn them on their side, place their hand under their head, and bend the knee on the top leg. This prevents the person from choking or rolling and causing more injury.
5. Prevent Shock
Shock victims that are conscious can easily slip into shock. Provide a blanket or something similar to help maintain warmth and body core temperature. It's also important to talk to them to help keep them awake and focused on the here and now as you await emergency services. Keep conversation light and pepper in simple questions to try and maintain engagement.
Contact an emergency medical facility immediately if electric shock care is needed.