Delayed reaction from electrical shock?

jason

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
An employee says he got shocked, just like we all get shocked at times. Nothing out of the ordinary. There were no holes blown in him, no burns, etc. Well he moves on to another job, completes that job, then goes out to my house to pick up a part. He gets to my house approximately 2 hours after this shock. He says he pulled up at my house and was feeling light headed, started walking over to where the parts are and the next thing he remembers is waking up in an ambulance.

At the hospital all of the tests they did came back normal.

This morning I talked to his girlfriend and according to her the doctors are saying it was a delayed reaction to the shock. Well how can the doctors know it's a delayed reaction to a shock when all of the tests came back normal? (If the doctors even said that.)

Anyone ever heard of anything like this? Even if it is a delayed reaction to a shock, how would the doctors know this definitely? (Especially from my understanding all of the tests they have done have come back normal.)

Process of elimination? So all of the tests are normal and he tells him he got shocked a couple of hours ago so automatically the shock is what caused him losing consciousness 2 hours later? Why couldn't it have been a candy bar he ate on the way to my house? Or why couldn't it have been some sort of reaction he may have come in contact with between the job and my house? Or why couldn't it be he simply laid in the yard until he was found?

I know something happened to him. Seizure, diabetic problems maybe, etc... I just have never heard of being shocked (and he told the customer at the house it didn't get him when he bumped 2 wires together) and 2 hours later losing consciousness.

Just trying to understand it.

Any insight is appreciated.
 

luckylerado

Senior Member
An employee says he got shocked, just like we all get shocked at times. Nothing out of the ordinary. There were no holes blown in him, no burns, etc. Well he moves on to another job, completes that job, then goes out to my house to pick up a part. He gets to my house approximately 2 hours after this shock. He says he pulled up at my house and was feeling light headed, started walking over to where the parts are and the next thing he remembers is waking up in an ambulance.

At the hospital all of the tests they did came back normal.

This morning I talked to his girlfriend and according to her the doctors are saying it was a delayed reaction to the shock. Well how can the doctors know it's a delayed reaction to a shock when all of the tests came back normal? (If the doctors even said that.)

Anyone ever heard of anything like this? Even if it is a delayed reaction to a shock, how would the doctors know this definitely? (Especially from my understanding all of the tests they have done have come back normal.)

Process of elimination? So all of the tests are normal and he tells him he got shocked a couple of hours ago so automatically the shock is what caused him losing consciousness 2 hours later? Why couldn't it have been a candy bar he ate on the way to my house? Or why couldn't it have been some sort of reaction he may have come in contact with between the job and my house? Or why couldn't it be he simply laid in the yard until he was found?

I know something happened to him. Seizure, diabetic problems maybe, etc... I just have never heard of being shocked (and he told the customer at the house it didn't get him when he bumped 2 wires together) and 2 hours later losing consciousness.

Just trying to understand it.

Any insight is appreciated.
A shock can send your heart out of rhythm and yes a delayed reaction can occur. Sounds to me like you need to be getting advice from another source than this site and should probably educate yourself a little bit about the hazards of your industry. Maybe a first aid or CPR class is in order??

Is he a doper?? Why would you have someone working for you that you think he would lay in your yard until he was found?
 

jason

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
A shock can send your heart out of rhythm and yes a delayed reaction can occur. Sounds to me like you need to be getting advice from another source than this site and should probably educate yourself a little bit about the hazards of your industry. Maybe a first aid or CPR class is in order??

Is he a doper?? Why would you have someone working for you that you think he would lay in your yard until he was found?
I never said I thought he laid in the yard until he was found. Educate myself about the hazards of the industry?

The question is really simple but I may have made it sound more difficult than I should.

How can a doctor conclude that it is a delayed reaction from an electrical shock when all tests are normal and the only thing the doctor knows is that he was found unconscious in the yard? Can people that do not get shocked not be found unconscious in a yard? Is there no other possible explanation? Or is it assumed that everyone found in a yard unconscious must have had an electrical shock within the past couple of hours?
 

Ingenieur

Senior Member
Location
Earth
A definitive paper on shock
http://www.electriciancalculators.com/dalziel/dalziel_study.pdf
been using it for research on gnd fault protection

we should not second guess a doctor without consulting another
the girlfriends veracity should not be in question until disproven

from the concerns your tone implies it may be prudent to remain silent and seek counsel

if all tests are normal
the guy is healthy
never passed out before
and was recently shocked (the doctor most likely asked if anything unusual occured prior)
the doctor arrived at a conclusion
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
There can be internal injuries that won't immediately be noticeable.

You read about cases where a guy thinks he is fine then sometime later ends up in an emergency room or even dies.

If you go to hospital room right away they can monitor your heart, oxygen levels, and a few other things - several things can show up in blood testing and can find those hidden issues before they become too complex and start treating them right away. Otherwise organs that are not immediate priority but still are important can shut down and eventually they will create other complications.

If something like your kidneys failed you wouldn't immediately know it, but will have some serious effects develop rather rapidly.
 

junkhound

Senior Member
Location
Renton, WA
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658458/


Also, there is a recent area of study called DEI, diffuse electric injury. DEI May be a fabrication of tort lawyers, but some medical researchers think it is real.


edit ps:
personal experience: Literally thousands of electrical shocks over the last 65 years (most were purposely self inflicted with 20mA current limit for experimental purposes), 2 fairly severe accidental shocks 50 years ago (3 kV, 1A), but none with burns.
Never any delayed reactions myself.
For last 20 years have frequent episodes of bi-gemini or tri-gemini, very frequent PVCs. Normal ECGs (except for PVC) and EKGs since first ones over 40 years ago. Conceivable that PVCs related to early shock per literature, but my 95 YO mother has PVCs and never experienced an electrical shock.
 
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Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
Electrical shock can do many things.
You don't have to visually see damage for there to be damage or symptoms. So many think you need to see burns.
You don't

You can wake up the next day and your joints hurt where the shock passed.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658458/


Also, there is a recent area of study called DEI, diffuse electric injury. DEI May be a fabrication of tort lawyers, but some medical researchers think it is real.


edit ps:
personal experience: Literally thousands of electrical shocks over the last 65 years (most were purposely self inflicted with 20mA current limit for experimental purposes), 2 fairly severe accidental shocks 50 years ago (3 kV, 1A), but none with burns.
Never any delayed reactions myself.
For last 20 years have frequent episodes of bi-gemini or tri-gemini, very frequent PVCs. Normal ECGs (except for PVC) and EKGs since first ones over 40 years ago. Conceivable that PVCs related to early shock per literature, but my 95 YO mother has PVCs and never experienced an electrical shock.
What is PVC?

I've experienced some delayed effects from shock; mostly sore arms/hands, and usually latent pain from cracking my elbow into something jerking away.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Also, coming from my brother-in-law the doctor;

Doctors don't "know" as much as we want to think they do. Medical diagnosis is often a highly organized and researched system of educated guesses, occasionally backed up by tangible scientific conclusions such as pathogens, blood chemicals etc., but more often a process of elimination of other causes until you are left with one that fits. So did they "conclude" this was the delayed result of an electrical shock by virtue of a prcess of elimination? Essentially yes, that's called a "differential diagnosis". No evidence of anything else, known (from the patien's account) exposure to a potentially dangerous condition that has documented unpredictable consequences. But if this truly came from a medical team, nobody would "jump" to that conclusion, they would arrive there through an investigation.

If the guy sues you, you can get a lawyer and challenge the findings of the doctors, or even find out if he ever really got that diagnosis. Just understand that lawyers love that kind of stuff, because they "win" for themselves regardless of the outcome for everyone else. But that's why you have insurance policies too. You might want to call your insurance company and give them a heads up, they will likely advise that you stop talking about it and posting your doubts and disparaging theories on websites that might get traced back to you. How you react to this may end up costing you more than anything else if it turns ugly.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
An employee says he got shocked, just like we all get shocked at times. Nothing out of the ordinary. There were no holes blown in him, no burns, etc. Well he moves on to another job, completes that job, then goes out to my house to pick up a part. He gets to my house approximately 2 hours after this shock. He says he pulled up at my house and was feeling light headed, started walking over to where the parts are and the next thing he remembers is waking up in an ambulance.

At the hospital all of the tests they did came back normal.

This morning I talked to his girlfriend and according to her the doctors are saying it was a delayed reaction to the shock. Well how can the doctors know it's a delayed reaction to a shock when all of the tests came back normal? (If the doctors even said that.)

"The employee says he got shocked".

Is there a proceedure for him to report any type of injury while on the job? Was he working circuits live? Was he wearing the correct protective gear?

Getting shocked is not normal and should not be part of the job. Did the employee receive the proper safety training?
 

__dan

Senior Member
Electric shock causes tissue damage which is why the path of the shock is an important factor. If the path is one finger to the other, probably no critical organs in that path. One hand to the other hand, the path is through the chest, heart, lungs, and all the rest. With that combination, or permutation of possible paths and tissues damaged that instant, there's no way to determine exactly what the result was from the injury in a short time

You can get hit by lightning and if the path is from the knee to the ankle, you may survive.

So it happened on the job, it becomes a comp claim, and the insurer will try to blame anything else to avoid paying. He took a nap, is diabetic, was mugged, anything they can think of, and the permutations again become a large number.

The doctor's opinion essentially was that he has to stay in the doctor's care to see what happens down the road. Finding nothing is not conclusive that nothing happened or that there is nothing to be found. It would only be the best result of the accident.

If it happened to you, how would you feel if your coworkers told the insurer he was napping, drinking, diabetic. There is a word for that which escapes me at the moment, probably remorselessness.
 

Vonze

Member
Location
Central New York
I would go with the doctor

I would go with the doctor

I once read a safety article about this very thing. A serviceman was working on a pump, got shocked, finished the job, then called his boss to report. Mentioned the shock and said he's felling funny and could he skip the next call, take the rest of the day off to go home and rest. Boss says, no, you need to drive yourself to the hospital, I'll meet your there. As soon as the service guy gets to the hospital, he goes into cardiac arrest, but they're able to revive him. Had his boss been less astute, the guy would have died on his couch at home.
 

jusme123

Senior Member
Location
NY
Occupation
Electron Traffic Controller- Journeyman
...why was he working live work to begin with?
I see your need to protect your business/assets, but it starts with safety protocols being followed, which will be questioned if this goes further. Hopefully the guy is all right and it was just a weird/abnormal reaction to being shocked.
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
There can be internal injuries that won't immediately be noticeable.

You read about cases where a guy thinks he is fine then sometime later ends up in an emergency room or even dies.
E.g., Sam Kinison
 

jason

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
From my understanding after talking with staff at the hospital, they are unsure why he apparently lost consciousness. If I understood correctly, there has been no official diagnosis at this point.
 

luckylerado

Senior Member
From my understanding after talking with staff at the hospital, they are unsure why he apparently lost consciousness. If I understood correctly, there has been no official diagnosis at this point.
Hipaa laws should prevent staff from the hospital from sharing any information with you. You should really let work comp take care of this if that is where it is heading and not be talking to hospital staff in case there is a suit. You may be making things worse for yourself. JMO
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
How did he get shocked? Employees are required to wear insulating gloves when exposed to hazardous voltages. Was he not wearing his gloves? If so, he should probably be appropriately disciplined IAW your company's disciplinary policy.

As for a delayed reaction, I think that is something for the doctors to determine. I suspect they would determine it based on ruling out other more obvious things. I doubt you are going to get a smoking gun for such a thing.

In any case, you have workmans comp insurance for this kind of thing. Let them handle it.
 
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