FIRST AID: How to help someone who has had an electric shock

St John Ambulance gives advice on how to treat someone who has had an electric shock
St John Ambulance gives advice on how to treat someone who has had an electric shock
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, has teamed up with The News to bring you some simple, but life-saving, first aid tips.

Electrical currents used in the workplace and at home can cause serious injury. Incidents are generally due to faulty or loose switches, defective appliances or frayed flexes.

Electric shock can also be caused by handling an electric appliance with wet hands as water is a very effective conductor of electricity.

Electric shocks may also cause burns and cardiac arrest.

What to do:

n Assess the situation. Do not touch the casualty if they’re still in contact with the electrical source as you are at risk of electrocution.

n Turn off the source of electricity to break the contact between the electrical supply and the casualty.

n Alternatively, move the casualty away from the source. You may be able to stand on some dry insulating material (such as a plastic mat or wooden box) and use a broom handle or wooden pole to push the casualty’s limb away from the source.

n If it’s not possible to break contact using a wooden object, loop some rope around the underneath of the casualty’s arms or ankles and pull them away from the electrical source. Do not touch the casualty.

n Once you’re sure the contact has been broken between the casualty and the electrical source, perform a primary survey and treat any injuries.

n Call 999 or 112 for emergency help.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website sja.org.uk offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance believes that nobody should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. St John Ambulance teaches people first aid so that they can be the difference.