Bilateral Lung Injury After Electric Shock

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Bilateral Lung Injury
  • Electrical injuries are a common form of mechanical trauma as a result of low- or high-voltage injuries.
  • Electrical injuries can cause dysfunction of multiple organs and tissues.
  • At least half of all electrical injuries occur in occupational setting, such as in this case.
  • The accident happened at the 23-year-old’s workplace with bilateral lung injury and pulmonary haemorrhage after exposure to low-voltage electricity.

This article describes the case of a 23-year-old with bilateral lung injury and pulmonary haemorrhage after exposure to low-voltage electricity. Electrical injuries are a common occurrence. And the intensity of the injury depends on the intensity electrical current. However, it is often difficult to assess the amount of damage because of a lack of correlation between skin burns and visceral injury.

Presentation of patient’s bilateral lung injury

The accident happened at the 23-year-old’s workplace. Soon after electrocution, he had temporary memory loss with twitching in the extremities. However, after a while he regained consciousness and stopped twitching. Examination showed electrical burn wounds on his back and forehead. Signs of dyspnoea and hemoptysis were also present. Doctors advised a CT scan of the chest which revealed patchy infiltration and consolidation of both lungs. He was treated for tranexamic acid and prophylactic antibiotics for the lung injury and pulmonary haemorrhage. On the 7th day the patient showed significant improvement. In addition, the mild dyspnoea also seized two weeks later.

Electricity-induced injuries should be ruled out in patients with respiratory symptoms and corresponding imaging findings. Especially in patients with electrical injury through suspicious current transmission pathway. In addition, pulmonary complications require early intervention, otherwise may lead to serious complications. There are only a few cases of electrical injury in literature. Moreover, in most cases, the electric current directly damages the lung tissue, leading to additional complications.

References

Low-Voltage Electricity–Associated Burn Damage of Lung Parenchyma: Case Report and Literature Review https://www.jem-journal.com/article/S0736-4679(20)30975-6/fulltext#articleInformation

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.

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