Study of Electrical Injuries in Fatal Cases in Tertiary Care Hospital
Keywords:Shock, High voltage, Low voltage, Flash burns, Electric contact mark, Septicaemia.
Background and Objective: With wide spread use of electricity at home and work place the amount of
electrical related injuries are on the rise. The present study attempts to know age, sex distribution pattern
of electrical injuries, cause of death, manner of death, and Histopathological changes in skin with electrical
contact mark and in internal organs.
Methods: Study was conducted on deaths due to electrocution brought to Osmania General Hospital
mortuary during the period of one year. Specimen of skin with contact mark and internal organs like heart,
kidney was sent for Histopathological examination. Data from police reports and picture evidence from the
site of the accident were retrieved.
Result: Total number of 60 cases was studied in one-year period. Much of the casualties were men, belonging
to the working age community. 58% of victims died instantaneously due to shock. 37% of the fatalities were
due to complications of severe flash burns. High voltage electrocution constituted 56.66 % of cases. Low
voltage electrocution constituted 43.33%. High voltage electrocution was identified as flash burns, low
voltage electrocution was identified as contact mark. Typical Histopathological changes were seen in skin
and heart specimen sent for examination. Histopathological changes in kidney were nonspecific.
Conclusion: The diagnostic parameters for electrocution are the electrical contact mark. Histopathological
changes were used as supportive evidence in determining cause of death. Human negligence, electrical
defective appliances and connexions and lack of safety precautions were the key factors for electrocution
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