Electricity has allowed for some great things in our world, but it can also be pretty dangerous. In the United States alone, a little under 100 people a year are killed from being electrocuted in the workforce, and about another 60 electrocutions occur from consumer products like power tools, and lighting equipment.
Electrocution is defined as when a person or animal is killed by electricity or an electric shock.
How exactly does electricity hurt someone?
Well, to understand that, let’s take a step back and see how electricity is measured. Volts and amperes, or amps, are typical ways engineers and scientists describe the electrical phenomena of the world.
Amperes measure current flow, or how much electric charge flows through a point per unit of time, electron flow is what typically causes harm to a person through tissue or nervous system damage.
When flowing through the body in ways they aren’t typically supposed to, electrons can cause damages inside a person. These include the burning of bodily tissues or interfering with essential electrical signals, like the ones that cause the heart to beat. Under certain conditions, a person’s muscles will tense and clench, sometimes even preventing them from letting go of the current source.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration gives some guidelines on just how dangerous certain amperages are.
Currents at around 1 mA can cause tingling sensations, while currents above 75 mA can potentially cause ventricular fibrillation, which may lead to death.
Severe tissue and organ burns typically begin at currents above 1500 mA, But you have to take into account more than just the amperage when seeing how the current of an electrical source will hurt a person. Theoretically, a small current could flow into one hand, directly through the heart, and out the other hand and cause a person to die.
Simultaneously, a very huge current from a lightning jolt could hit a person and only cause bodily burns if it simply travels through the skin and not further inside a person, Certain body parts are also more susceptible to electric damage than others, with someone’s inward organs having far less resistance than their external skin.., wet skin also has way less resistance than dry skin. This is why people are at far greater risks of electrocution when water is involved.
There is ever anything that can make a little electric kiss be a good thing?
All my Left 4 Dead fans know that there is; the defibrillator! Modern-day defibrillators can vary quite a bit from what you see in video games, but they are basically devices that deliver a therapeutic dose of electrical vitality to a person’s heart in order to treat urgent medical conditions like sudden cardiac arrest, Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition where a person’s heart abruptly stops beating, usually caused by ventricular fibrillation,without the use of things like CPR and a defibrillator, the sudden cardiac arrest usually leads to a person’s death.