Emergency guide to saving a patient who has been electrocuted

The maximum deaths due to electric shocks are noted in the ongoing monsoon season

The Monsoon season is welcomed in our country due to the respite it brings to the dreaded Delhi summer heat. However what people need to be cautious about while enjoying the rains is the high risk of electrocution. With the technological advancement of the 21st century, electronic equipment surrounds us. During the monsoon season it is very important to ensure that every individual takes adequate precautionary measures to avoid electrocution and is aware of how to help a victim in case of an emergency.

Heart Care Foundation of India jointly with the Indian Medical Association, Delhi Red Cross Society and Delhi Police has taken up the challenge of training 100% of the Delhi Police PCR van staff on the life-saving technique of hands only CPR 10 by Independence Day 2015. In today’s training session, a special focus was laid on how to help and revive electrocution patients in the monsoon.

Addressing the PCR van staff, Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Electrocution is extremely common in the monsoon months due to carelessness on part of the public. They are not aware of or do not take seriously simple rules that one must not touch any electrical switch or gadget barefoot or with wet hands. The Delhi police are the first to reach such an emergency situation and can help revive the patient by the simple and effective technique of hands only CPR 10. When approaching an electrocution victim the first instinct is to go and pull him or her out. However this can be extremely dangerous since electricity can get passed on from one person to another putting both the people at risk. What one must do instead is first switch off the electric current from the source. Then separate the victim using a non-conducting material such as wood, glass, plastic and paper. Then lay the victim on the floor and check if he is breathing. If not, begin the process of hands only CPR 10 immediately.”

Adding to this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr A Marthanda PillaiNational President IMA said, “CPR, is a technique that involves chest compressions without artificial respiration to help save the life of a victim who has collapsed due to a sudden cardiac arrest. It must only be performed on a person who has no pulse rate and is not breathing. Chest compressions must be stopped only when the person starts breathing again or an ambulance arrives. If administered immediately, Hands only CPR can double a person’s chances of survival”.

A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical conducting system of the heart fails and the heartbeats irregularly and very fast (more than 1000 times, technically called as ventricular fibrillation). Soon after the heart suddenly stops beating and the blood flow to the brain stops. As a result, the person becomes unconscious and stops normal breathing.A cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, but it may be caused by a heart attack. In most cases, sudden cardiac arrest may be reversible in the first 10 minutes. This is possible because the brain remains alive during this period when the heart and respiration have stopped, a situation called clinical death. To know more or to organize a training camp in your locality, please call the NGO’s helpline number 9958771177.