The higher the current and voltage associated with AC or DC power, the greater the electrical damage. High current (more than 500V to 1000V) usually causes deep burns, while low current (110V to 120V) is more likely to cause tetany.
If you routinely grasp exposed conductors with your bare hands by the insulation to install wire nuts, you expose yourself to a high risk of electric shock. If it’s a 277V circuit, you probably won’t be able to let go. And without GFCI protection or someone present immediately to perform CPR, you could end up dying.
A minor electric shock is something to be concerned about. A shock—whether labeled “minor” or “major”—is dangerous and can result in serious injury. If a so-called mild shock causes electricity to flow through a person’s body, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
To achieve this safe level of current, the voltage on the human body must not exceed 100 volts.
Symptoms of electric shock
Unconsciousness. muscle cramps. Difficulty breathing (or no breathing) Numbness/tingling sensations.
Most doctors who treat victims of electrical injuries say that there is no such thing as a “minor” electric shock. A small electric shock can cause serious nerve damage. The electric current flowing through a person’s body even as a result of a low voltage electric shock can still be very dangerous.
120V/100,000Ω = 0.0012 amps, which is 1.2mA. A person may feel a slight tingling sensation. The severity of the shock from a particular source depends on its path through your body.
The human body has an inherently high resistance to electrical current, which means that without sufficient voltage, a dangerous amount of current cannot pass through the body and cause injury or death. As a rough rule of thumb, more than fifty volts is enough to drive a potentially lethal current through the body.
Electric shock from a 240 volt outlet can kill you, but on a dry day your car door can bang you with 10,000 volts and make you swear.
Exposure to high voltage (greater than 500 volts) can cause serious tissue damage. Serious electrocution injuries usually have an entry and exit point on the body as the person becomes part of the circuit.
A person can receive an electric shock from contact with electrical current from a small household appliance, wall outlet, or extension cord. These shocks rarely cause serious trauma or complications. About half of all electrical accidents occur at work.
Electrical injuries can also affect the central nervous system. When shock occurs, the victim may be light-headed or experience amnesia, seizures, or respiratory failure. Long-term nerve and brain damage depends on the extent of the injury and can develop up to several months after the shock.
When a part of your body encounters electricity, an electric current flows through the tissue, causing an electric shock. People sometimes call it electrocution. Depending on the duration and severity of the electric shock, the following injuries may occur: Skin burns.
Stun guns, used by law enforcement agencies for decades, can temporarily immobilize a person — think of someone who is combative or resisting arrest, for example — by shocking them with 50,000 volts of electricity will . A discharge, also known as a “cycle,” can last five seconds.