Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I was called last evening to evaluate a man who had been electrocuted.  39 year old Sylvester was working on a 240 volt electrical line that he thought was inactivated.  He wrapped his hand with a very thin plastic bag to protect himself from the current in case he was wrong about the circuit being live.  Unfortunately the circuit was very alive and the thin plastic did nothing to protect him.  He was thrown into the air and landed face down.  He was further unlucky that the wire remained in his hand and the current continued to travel thru his body until a passerby used a stick to dislodge the wire from his hand.

Sylvester had second and third degree burns the entire length of his right arm and then on his lower legs and feet where the current exited to the ground.  He was quite uncomfortable with his pain but was able to communicate well.  I was extremely concerned about Sylvester’s overnight prognosis.  To my pleasant surprise Sylvester was doing much better than expected today.  He was able to get up to go to the bathroom on his own.  His burns were cleansed and debrided today.  There was no sign of compartment syndrome in his arms or legs and his kidneys were working well.  Sylvester still has a long recovery road ahead of him but he is very lucky just to be on that road today.

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