Electrical Accident Medical Malpractice: Holding Doctors Accountable

March 9, 2018 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Medical Malpractice Electrocution

Electrical outlet hazardElectrical injuries must always be taken seriously, whether they're sustained at home, at a construction site, in an office, or any other kind of premises. The extent of the harm done by electrocution goes beyond the initial pain of shock. When medical professionals encounter someone who has been electrocuted, proper medical attention must be given to address immediate health needs as well as the long-term issues a person may face.

The medical malpractice lawyers at our Provo, UT law firm would like to consider the nature of electrical injuries and how they affect the health of accident victims. We’ll also note the obligations that doctors have to these injury victims, and what is reasonable to expect from medical professionals who are dealing with injuries caused by electricity.

Taking Electrical Burns Seriously

Electrical burns are much different than burns from thermal burns or chemical burns. The electricity tends to affect the soft tissues as it passes through the body rather than just the skin, leading to trauma beneath the surface of the skin. It’s estimated that 1,000 deaths a year are related to electrical burns.

Failure to Diagnose Electrical Burns

Electrical burns can be hard to diagnose given that the injuries reside beneath the skin. Yet difficulty is no excuse for a doctor’s failure to diagnose such an issue. Doctors should use whatever diagnostic technology is at their exposure to thoroughly examine patients who have been severely electrocuted. It is better to be safe and thorough given the circumstances involved.

Electrical Injuries to the Heart and Other Organs

As electricity passes through the body, it can wind up harming a person’s internal organs. There’s an especially big concern for the health of the heart and a person’s brain. Other organs may be affected as well, which can have deadly consequences in the months following the electrocution without proper medical attention.

Issues with Monitoring the Patient’s Heart Health

Given that the electricity that surged through a person’s body can have an negative impact on the health of the heart, brain, and other body parts, doctors must carefully examine these organs for damage following an electrical injury.

Furthermore, patients should be monitored for several months after the electrocution just to make sure that there are no further signs of injury or poor health. This is especially true of people who have a pacemaker or are likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems.

The Impact of Nerve Injuries

Nerve damage is another problem to consider following an electrical injury of any kind. The electricity that runs through the body can cause serious harm to the nerves, leading to a loss of sensation in the body, problems with limb or grip strength, as well as problems moving hands and fingers.

Problems with Administering Proper Treatment

When issues with the nerves arise, doctors must note potential damage and address these matters as soon as possible. With proper diagnosis and treatment, patients can experience restored movement and use of injured parts of the body. These matters should not be taken lightly.

Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

For more information about your legal rights and options following an electrocution or electoral accident, be sure to contact our team of medical malpractice lawyers. The attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are on your side every step of the way.