Electric Shock, a condition that occurs when there is a flow of electricity through that body. It is usually caused by contact with poorly insulated wires or ungrounded electrical equipment , by using electrical equipment while in contact with water, or by being struck by lightning. The severity and effects of electric shock depend mostly on the amount of current passing through the body and the duration of contact.
A slight, harmless shock produces only a jarring or startling sensation. Severe shocks produce muscle contractions, which lead to muscular spasms, paralysis, unconsciousness, or death. A fatal electric shock is called electrocution. Burns may occur where the current enters and leaves the body.
When an electric shock is caused by contact with electrical wires or equipment, the victim should be freed from the source of current immediately—either by shutting off the source (as by pulling a circuit breaker) or by separating the victim from the point of contact. Since the human body is a good conductor of electricity, the victim should not be touched with bare hands; dry, insulated gloves or a dry, nonconductive material (such as rubber or wood) should be used to push or pull the victim away from the source of current. In addition, the rescuer should stand on something dry and nonconductive.
A survivor of electric shock is often panicky with fear and is pale, trembling, and sweating. A doctor should be called immediately. First aid includes keeping the victim warm and in a horizontal position. If the victim stops breathing, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should be given. Professional medical treatment may include treatment for burns and the administration of drugs and oxygen.
In most cases electric shock can be prevented by taking certain precautions, especially around the home. All appliances and switches should be in locations far from water and they should not be touched while standing in water or with wet hands. All electrical equipment should be permanently grounded. Frayed cords should be discarded and unused sockets covered or sealed. Before making any electrical repairs fuses should be removed or circuit breakers turned to the "off" position. Bare wires which could possibly be carrying current should never be touched.