Electrical injuries: A 30-year review

Jyoti Rai, Marc G. Jeschke, Robert E. Barrow, David N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Introduction: Electrical injuries currently remain a worldwide problem. This study determines whether electrical injuries at our institution have changed in the past 30 years, and identifies electrical burn complications and any high-risk groups. Methods: From 1967 to 1997, 185 children admitted to our institute were identified with electrical burns. Fifty-five percent of these electrical burns occurred from 1987 to 1997. Results: During the last 10 years of this study, 43% of the electrical injuries (n = 44) were from low voltage (120-240 V) and 57% (n = 58) from high voltage (> 1,000 V). In 17 children, serious low-voltage burns were identified as oral commissure burns. These were treated conservatively with one to two reconstructive procedures within 2 years. High-voltage injuries were mainly identified in male children (age 11 to 18 years). Thirty-three percent of high-voltage burns required amputation, 29% had deep muscle involvement, and 24% required either escharotomy or fasciotomy. No mortalities were reported. Conclusion: Although the incidence of low-voltage burns is currently on a steady decline, high- voltage injuries remain a problem, particularly in adolescent males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-936
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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