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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 11(4); 2000 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2000;11(4): 499-505.
Clinical Analysis of Electrical Burn Patients
Byeong Dai Yoo, Sung Jin Kim, Myung Gab Lee, Young Jo Seo, Jae Gu Kang, Dong Phil Lee
BACKGROUND: Good documentation of electrical injuries at the time of presentation is very important to emergency management, so this study was designed to investigate the clinical characteristics and the outcomes of patients with electrical injury.
A review of 75 cases of electrical injuries admitted to our hospital via the emergency department over a 4 year period from 1996 to 1999 was conducted.
There were 49 patients with high-voltage injuries and 19 patients with low-voltage injuries. All but 4 patients were males, with a mean age of 29.5 years. The most common type of injury was 14.5% TBSA in the high-voltage group and 2.5% in the low-voltage group. Forty-nine(72.1%) of the injuries were work related. The number of patient with compartment syndrome was 19, and fasciotomies were performed in all but one patient. Myoglobinuria was noted in 22 patients, but no patient developed acute renal failure due to myoglobinuria. In the high-voltage group, 10 limb amputations were performed. Complication were observed in 12 patients. The most common complication was neurological injury. The average length of hospital stay was 50.7 days in the high-voltage group and 13.8 days in the low-voltage group. The overall mortality rate was 4.3%.
Prevention of electrical injuries is very important. Education and compliance with safety measures, as well as basic knowledge and precaution in dealing with electricity, are essential to avoid these injuries.
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