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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 21(2); 2010 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2010;21(2): 259-265.
High Voltage Electrical Injury and Prevention
Kwang Pil Rim, Ki Cheul Noh, Jun Hyung Lee, Hyo Young Ahn, Eung Soo Kim, Hyun Chul Kim, Chang Hae Pyo
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Hanil General Hospital, Korea Electric Power Medical Corporation, Seoul, Korea. oceanpyo@empal.com
2Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hanil General Hospital, Korea Electric Power Medical Corporation, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Surgery, Hanil General Hospital, Korea Electric Power Medical Corporation, Seoul, Korea.
High voltage electrical injury mainly occurs in the industrial field. It can cause serious complications and sequelae that lead to high social and economic costs. We investigated the causes of this to try to help prevent these injuries.
We reviewed 128 patients who incurred high voltage electrical injury during a 3-years period from Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2008. We performed a retrospective analysis of the medical records to review the epidemiology. We also performed a survey by telephone. The survey questions addressed the following: the duration of work, wearing safety equipment, the reason for working without safety equipment, did they receive safety education, was the safety education adequate, recognition of a high tension wire before working and did they understand the effect of high voltage on the human body.
The safety education was relatively carried out well. But most patients did not wear safety equipment even though they knew they had to wear it (92%). The major reason was discomfort of wear it (72%). The hand was the most common injury site (80%). Most injuries occurred with 22,900 volt or less (92%). In spite of safety education, many patients were unaware of the effects of electrical injury on their body.
Strengthened safety education can play a significant role in preventing high voltage electrical injury. At this point, the doctors who are experienced in treating high voltage electrical injury must actively participate in this safety education. We suggest that handy safety equipment can lessen the incidence of high voltage electrical injury. It is essential to develop a handy safety glove for 22,900V with considering that the hand was the most common injury site and the most frequent voltage for injury was 22,900 volt or less.
Key words: Electric injuries, Protective devices, Safety management, Education
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