Electric shock heart damage is a very serious and potentially deadly injury that requires immediate medical attention. The most common types of damage to the heart are irregular heart rhythms (which are called arrhythmias) and myocardial injuries such as heart attacks and cardiac arrest.
If you or a loved one has suffered heart damage from an electrical injury, an experienced electrocution lawyer can help you and your family protect your legal rights and ensure that you recover the best settlement possible in your case against the responsible parties.
Can electric shock damage your heart?
Electric shock can damage your heart because it can disrupt or interfere with your heart’s electrical impulses and rhythm, which could impair your heart’s ability to pump blood and oxygen – resulting in arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation, heart attack or cardiac arrest.
Most common types of electric shock heart damage
The two most common types of electric shock heart damage are: (1) arrhythmias; and (2) myocardial injuries (i.e., injuries affecting or relating to the heart’s muscular tissue). Arrhythmias occur when the heart beats too fast, too slowly or irregularly. Myocardial injuries interfere with blood flow to the heart.
Electric shock can disrupt the electric signals that coordinate the beating of a person’s heart, causing an irregular heartbeat which is called an arrhythmia. When the heart beats too fast, it is tachycardia. When it beats too slow, it is bradycardia. Ventricular fibrillation is a very dangerous form of arrhythmia.
Ventricular fibrillation is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention because it causes the ventricles of a person’s heart to stop pumping blood out to the body. Untreated ventricular fibrillation can result in cardiac arrest and death.
Electric shock can cause electric shock heart damage in the form of a heart attack (i.e., a myocardial infarction) or cardiac arrest. Both are extremely dangerous – and frequently deadly – and require immediate medical attention.
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. Consequently, due to a lack of blood and oxygen the heart begins to die. This results in damage to a person’s heart or loss of the person’s life.
Cardiac arrest occurs when a person’s heart stops due to an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) brought on by a malfunction in the electrical system in the person’s heart. In addition to the loss of heart function, cardiac arrest can cause a person to stop breathing and lose consciousness.
Heart attacks and cardiac arrest are two separate and distinct examples of heart damage caused by an electrical injury, but it is not uncommon for a heart attack to cause a person to subsequently suffer cardiac arrest.
Testing and diagnosis
To test for heart damage after an electrical injury, hospital medical staff, a cardiologist and/or your doctor may order that you undergo an: (1) electrocardiogram; (2) echocardiogram; (3) angiogram; (4) heart computed tomography; or (5) heart/cardiac MRI.
Below is more detail about these diagnostic tests:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – Electrodes are attached to the skin on a person’s chest to track the strength and timing of the electrical activity of the person’s heart.
- Echocardiogram – High-frequency sound waves (i.e., ultrasound) are used to generate a picture of the inside and outside of a person’s heart.
- Angiogram – By injecting a colored dye into a person’s bloodstream, doctors can use an X-ray to track where there is little or no blood flow.
- Heart computed tomography (CT) scan – X-rays and computer processing allow doctors to examine and document the appearance and condition of your heart.
- Heart MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging allows doctors to examine and make an image of your heart.
Do you have a case for heart damage from an electrical injury that was caused while at work?
If you have suffered heart damage from an electrical injury as a result of an accident at work, then you may have a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits against your employer and a claim for pain and suffering compensation against any responsible third parties.
Can you sue if the electric shock heart damage was caused by someone else’s negligence?
If you suffered heart damage from an electrical injury in a non-work setting as a result of another person’s negligence, then you may be able to file an electric shock lawsuit against the negligent party for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages.
Get help from an experienced electric shock injury lawyer
If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity including electric shock heart damage, you can call and speak with Jeff Feldman, arguably the nation’s most experienced electrocution attorney. Jeff has litigated electrocution cases and electric shock injury cases in multiple states for families whose loved ones were injured or killed by electric shock, such as faulty consumer products, negligence in the building and construction industry, downed or low-hanging overhead power cables, and defective or poorly maintained pool equipment. Jeff also consults with injury lawyers throughout the country on electric shock injury and wrongful death cases involving electricity. You can call Jeff toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.