Do children need to be monitored after electric shocks?

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To determine whether cardiac monitoring is required in children sustaining electric shock at Australian household voltage.


Records of patients admitted via the Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Australia, for the period 1968-96 were retrospectively reviewed. The initial ECG findings of patients with an electric shock were recorded, and the development of any arrhythmia.


Forty-four patients were identified, 40 of whom had sustained a household electrical injury. One patient had an abnormal ECG on admission, none developed an arrhythmia and all survived.


Routine cardiac monitoring is not required after exposure to Australian household electricity supply if the child is asymptomatic and has a normal ECG on presentation.

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