This study evaluated the clinical features of low-voltage (220–240 V) electrical injuries and their mortality in children.Methods
This cross-sectional study evaluated 36 patients younger than 18 years who suffered a low-voltage electrical shock and presented to the emergency department between January 2009 and October 2011. For statistical analysis, Fisher exact test was used for categorical variables, and the Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables.Results
In the 34-month period, 36 patients (27 boys [75%] and 9 girls [25%]) were injured. The mean patient age was 9.19 ± 4.10 years (range, 2–17 years). Of the 36 patients, 5 (13.9%) died. Significant relationships were found between mortality and age (P =0.004), unconscious at the time of admission to the emergency department (P =0.013), the presence of clinical shock (P = 0.005), sinus tachycardia (P = 0.003), and high lactate dehydrogenase levels (P = 0.001). There were also significant relationships between mortality and hospital stay (P = 0.005), intensive care unit stay (P = 0.002), and detection of bacterial growth in blood culture (P = 0.024). By contrast, sex, the presence of an electrical exit wound, degree of the burn, surface area of the burn (%), accompanying flash burn, time elapsed transferring the patient from the accident scene to hospital, incomplete bundle-branch block or ST-wave changes on the electrocardiogram, increased troponin T, and creatine phosphokinase myocardial bundle did not affect mortality.Conclusions
Complications such as sepsis and electrolyte imbalance lead to mortality rather than low-voltage electrical injury itself.