Subscribe to RSS
Accidental Electric Shock during Pregnancy: Reflection on a Case
22 March 2013
10 May 2013
11 July 2013 (online)
Objectives Data on fetal effects following accidental electric shock during pregnancy are scarce. We report on a case of accidental maternal electric shock associated with benign fetal arrhythmia in a woman at 28 weeks' gestation.
Study Design Case report.
Results Although electrocution involving low-voltage, low-frequency current has been associated with fatal cardiac arrhythmias and conduction abnormalities, two protective parameters in the present case likely reduced the fetal injury: the dry skin at the site of current entry and the hand-to-hand pathway of current flow.
Conclusion Because the pathophysiology of electric injury is altered during pregnancy, assessment of fetal well-being should be prompted no matter how trivial an incident may appear.
- 1 Sornogyi E, Tedeschi CG. Injury by electrical force. In: Tedeschi CG, Eckert WG, Tedeschi LG, , eds. Forensic Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders; 1977: 645-676
- 2 Rosati P, Exacoustos C, Puggioni GF, Mancuso S. Growth retardation in pregnancy: experimental model in the rabbit employing electrically induced thermal placental injury. Int J Exp Pathol 1995; 76: 179-181
- 3 Fatovich DM. Electric shock in pregnancy. J Emerg Med 1993; 11: 175-177
- 4 Einarson A, Bailey B, Inocencion G, Ormond K, Koren G. Accidental electric shock in pregnancy: a prospective cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997; 176: 678-681
- 5 Spies C, Trohman RG. Narrative review: electrocution and life-threatening electrical injuries. Ann Intern Med 2006; 145: 531-537
- 6 Jain S, Bandi V. Electrical and lightning injuries. Crit Care Clin 1999; 15: 319-331
- 7 James TN, Riddick L, Embry JH. Cardiac abnormalities demonstrated postmortem in four cases of accidental electrocution and their potential significance relative to nonfatal electrical injuries of the heart. Am Heart J 1990; 120: 143-157
- 8 Graber J, Ummenhofer W, Herion H. Lightning accident with eight victims: case report and brief review of the literature. J Trauma 1996; 40: 288-290