Current effects

Following an electrical injury, current flow for any given voltage is difficult to estimate because the skin resistance, area of contact, and duration of contact vary and are usually unknown. Reported thresholds for the effects of hand-to-hand current flow are summarized in Table.!

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Table 1 Current thresholds

Injury occurs by several mechanisms, including skin burn at the point of contact, joule heating by flow of current to ground through the body, cell wall damage by current flow (electroporation), cardiac arrhythmias, thermal injury by arcing, lightning injury, and trauma due to falls.

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