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Electrical burn injury: An institutional account of 38 patients

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Surgery, College of Medical Sciences, Edo State University Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria
  • 2Department of orthopaedics and traumatology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 11, Issue (2), Pages 10-15, August,28 (2023)


Electrical burn refers to burn injuries resulting from electrical voltage or current passing through the body. The current, among other mechanisms of injury causes necrosis at the entry point in the skin and along its path through the muscle, blood vessels, nerves, and bone. Management is multidisciplinary and outcome can be devastating. To evaluate the aetiology and management outcome in patient managed for electrical burns over a 10 period in UBTH, Benin City. This study is a 10 year retrospective study of all patients admitted and managed for electrical burn injury between 2010 and 2019. Data of patients were obtained from our archives; case notes, nurses charts and medical records. These were presented in graphs and charts. 38 patients were admitted and treated for electrical injury. This accounted for 3% of the 1,269 treated for major burns over the 10 year period. Male accounted for 89.5% (34 patients) and females 10.5% (4 patients), with a male to female ratio of approximately 10:1. The mean age was 32.2 years. Thirty patients (78.9%) had injuries from high tension lines. 73.7% of the patients had their injuries outdoor. Six patients (15.8%) had amputations with 5 involving the upper limbs and one had lower limb amputation. Three patients had debridement and subsequent STSG. Two patients had neurological deficit. Mortality was 15.8%. Electrical injury still remains one of the common causes of severe injuries, with high tension injuries accounting for a large number. Linesmen, technicians and workmen are the highest occupation at risk. Management of these patients is multidisciplinary with amputations ranking high in the procedures carried out.


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