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How Do You Treat an Electric Shock?


Electric shocks can happen unexpectedly and can be extremely dangerous.They can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening situations. 

Knowing how to provide first aid to someone who has suffered an electric shock can make a significant difference in their recovery, and by following the correct procedures, you can minimise the risk to both the victim and yourself.

In this article, we will guide you through the essential steps to treat an electric shock effectively.

Understanding the Seriousness of Electric Shocks

Electricity can cause severe injuries including burns, cardiac arrest, and neurological damage. It’s crucial to act swiftly and knowledgeably when faced with an electric shock incident.

Providing immediate first aid can mean the difference between a full recovery and long-term complications or even death. Here are the steps you should take if someone suffers an electric shock.

Safety Precautions

Before attempting to help a victim of electric shock, ensure that you are safe. Your safety should be the top priority.

Maintaining a Safe Distance from High Voltage Electricity

If you encounter a casualty as a result of, or in the vicinity of, dangerous high voltage electricity, do not approach. Stay at least 25 metres away from the casualty until the power has been switched off.

Ensuring Personal Safety Before Assisting the Victim

Before you rush to help the victim, make sure that you are not putting yourself in danger. Check for any live electrical sources nearby and avoid contact with them.

Calling for Help

Once you’ve established a safe environment, it’s time to call for professional assistance. Dialling 999 is essential in cases of electric shock. especially if the victim is unconscious, experiencing severe burns, or having difficulty breathing. Professional medical evaluation is essential in such cases.Even if the victim appears to be stable, it’s crucial to have medical professionals on the way. Electric shock injuries may not always be immediately apparent.

Remove the Source

If the electricity source is still active, turn it off if safe to do so. Do not touch the victim until you are certain the source of electricity is off or disconnected

Assess the Victim

Check the victim’s responsiveness and breathing. If they are not breathing or unconscious, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you are trained to do so. Ensure their airway is clear and provide rescue breaths as needed

Provide Comfort and Monitor

Once the victim is no longer in contact with the electrical source, keep them calm and comfortable. Elevate their legs slightly, cover them with a blanket to maintain body temperature, and continue monitoring their vital signs until medical help arrives.


Remember, low voltage electric shocks can still cause serious injuries, such as burns or internal damage. Always seek professional medical evaluation to ensure the victim’s well-being and prevent any potential complications. Your quick response can make a significant difference in the outcome of an electric shock incident. Electric shocks can happen at any time, and being prepared to respond effectively can make a significant difference in the outcome. 

If you are interested in first aid training that can give you the confidence and knowledge to act in a range of emergency scenarios, please take a look at our first aid courses.