Electrical shock can cause a variety of injuries. The most serious is cardiac arrest, but there are also many less obvious effects you should watch for.
The effects of electrical shock increase in severity as the current increases. This chart shows the effects of electricity as the current increases by milliamps. A milliamp is 1/1000 of an amp.
- 5 milliamps can cause mild shock and pain.
- 50 milliamps (approximately the current inside a 7.5-watt holiday light) can cause severe pain and muscle spasms. These spasms make it hard to move away from the source of electricity, furthering the danger. Contacting this amount of current may even be fatal.
- 100 milliamps (approximately the current inside a 12-watt electric razor) can cause respiratory arrest, burns (internal and external) and tissue destruction. Direct contact with this amount of current is almost certainly fatal.
As you can tell from these examples, it doesn’t take a lot of electricity to injure or even kill!