To Study the Incidence of Electrical Contact Burns and To Evaluate the Pattern of Injury in a Tertiary Burn Care Centre

Incidence of Electrical Contact Burns

  • Pratap Duggirala Assistant Professor, Department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial surgery, NRI Medical College & Hospital, Chinakakani, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Sujata Sarabahi Professor and Consultant, Department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial surgery, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • V. K. Tiwari Professor & HOD, Department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial surgery, RML Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • Shiva Nagendra Reddy Annapareddy Assistant Professor, Department of Nephrology, NRI Medical College & Hospital, Chinakakani, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Keywords: Electrical burns, High voltage, seasonal variation, Low voltage


Background: Electrical burnis a unique form of trauma, in which mortality and morbidity are very high when compared to thermal burns. The effects of electrical current depend on the type of current, voltage, tissue resistance, the pathway and the duration.Aim: The aim of the current study is to find the incidence of electric burns and evaluate the pattern of injury in tertiary burn care centre.Subjects and Methods:It is a prospective observational study conducted in department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi over a period of one year.Results:Our study was done from first January 2011 to thirty first December 2011 in safdarjung hospital. Total number of patients treated for burns of all kinds during the same period is 5569. Among them total number of electrical burn incidence is 7.86% (438). The age groups maximum affected are sixteen years to thirty years. Electric burns were more common from childhood up to forty years age group. In the present study, Out of total 438 patients males were 369 and females were 69. This represented that 84.25% of the patients were male. Children constituted 18.5% (81) of all patients injured by electrical burns. In our study majority of the patients (266) had direct contact burns.125 patients had only flash burns and 47 patients had both contact and flash burns. Definite seasonal variation was observed with the highest number of patients in June to September months (48.6%). In our study we found that there were 312 high voltage injuries and 126 low voltage injuries. We found that the major cause of electric injuries was while doing agriculture related work (rural areas) in fields etc. The present study revealed that, head injuries are the major associated injuries in Electrical burns.Conclusion: We conclude that to reduce the incidence of electrical burnslocal governments need to impart personalized education to the rural population regarding electrical burn injuries; simple passive measures like making use of local language and dialect for manufacturers’ instructions and signboards; and the print and electronic media should be used effectively to impart necessary information.