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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-17

An overview of electrical burns

1 Consultant and H. 0. D
2 Consultant Plastic Surgeon Satluj Hospital, Ludhiana, India
3 Senior Resident Deptt of Burns Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
S P Bajaj
Deptt of Burns Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Safdarjang Hospital New Delhi

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Although patients with electrical burns constitute only about 5 % of the patients admitted with burns, the injury is often devastating for the patient. Because of injury to vital structures like nerves and tendons, there is a very high incidence of loss of function apart from a high rate of amputation. Various theories have been given to explain the pathophysiology and the typical pattern of injury seen in the electric burn. Our experience of large number of patients at Safdarjang hospital shows that the blood vessels show the least resistance to electrical current and the typical distribution of injury in the wrist, elbow and axilla can be explained on this. The progression of injury is due to venous and arterial thrombosis and early intervention must be aimed at augmenting it by flap cover.

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