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You might have come across two words – ‘Electric Shock‘ and ‘Electrocute’. Do you think these words mean the same thing? The truly shocking reality is the terms ‘electrocuted’ and ‘shocked’ are not synonymous terms. Let’s understand the difference between electric shock and electrocution.
What is Electric Shock?
An electric shock is one that involves electrical harm but in which the victim does not die. Does this mean that the injury is minor? Not by a long shot. These can be serious and even catastrophic injury cases. They can cause life-changing injuries.
Some of the most common injuries a person can deal with after being electrical shocked include amputation, severe burns, memory loss, cardiac arrest, brain damage, arrhythmia, nerve damage, heart muscle damage, permanent heart damage, injuries caused by falling after being shocked, hearing loss, loss of kidney function, seizure, spine injury, cataracts, and respiratory failure.
What is Electrocution?
Electrocution refers to an accident with electricity in which a person died. Common causes of this type of accident include exposure to electrical sources like exposed wires, contact with power lines or electrical arc flash, and contact with a downed power line.
Difference Between Electric Shock and Electrocution
The difference between an electrocution and an injury from an electrical shock is literally a matter of life and death. An electrocution means that a person has died as a result of electricity. A shock is fairly mild. Common causes of electrocution include:
- Accidental contact with exposed electrical sources, such as exposed wires.
- Accidental contact with a downed power line.
- Contact with a power line or electrical arc flash.
In contrast to electrocution, an electric shock injury involves electrical harm that does not result in death. That does not mean that an electrical shock case is a minor event. Victims of electrical shock frequently suffer very severe, catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Common injuries resulting from electrical shock include:
- Severe burns
- Cardiac arrest and/or arrhythmia and/or heart muscle damage
- Brain and other nerve damage
- Memory loss
- Permanent heart damage
- Hearing loss
- Respiratory failure
- Spine injury
- Deformity at point of contact
- Loss of kidney function
- Secondary injuries caused by post-shock falls
Ways to Prevent Electric Shock or Electrocution
Following are some of the ways to prevent accidents related to these two:
- Never use a damaged extension cord
- Never use a defective electrical device
- Pull on the plug and not on the cable to unplug an electrical device
- Unplug the toaster before trying to dislodge stuck toast
- Before changing a lightbulb, switch the light off or unplug the lamp
- Make sure to locate electrical wires before drilling a hole in the wall
- Always unplug the iron before filling it with water
- In the bathroom, never use electrical devices if you are wet or the humidity level is high
- Do not use electrical devices or extension cords near a pool
- If one of the breakers on your distribution panel trips often, spread out your devices onto different circuits
- Do not cut off or bend the third prong of a plug … it’s an important feature
- Never throw water on an outlet that’s on fire
- Be careful when removing the cover plate of a switch or outlet
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