ABSTRACT: To explore the pathogenic characteristics and management of brain injury in patients injured by high voltage electricity.
One hundred and thirty eight patients injured by electricity were enrolled in this study. Postburn brain injury was diagnosed by clinical sighs and imaging analysis. The brain injury was graded as mild, moderate, severe and most severe. The relationships among the inlet of the electric current and the electric voltage and the degree of brain injury were analyzed, and the causes and pathogenesis of the brain injury were suggested. Treatment modality was optimized for the patients according to the diagnostic data.
In this group of patients, brain injury was identified in 106 cases, mostly rated as mild and moderate. Only 4 cases were ranked as severe degree with positive imaging findings. The electric voltage seemed to be not correlated with the incidence of postburn brain injury. But the intensity of electric current and the locations of electrical current inlet and outlet were closely related to the degree of brain injury. Among all the patients in this group, 131 survived and 7 died after treatment. But there was no death due directly to brain injury.
There was high incidence of postburn brain injury in patients injured by high voltage electricity. The injury might be related to the direct effect of electrical current on the brain tissue, to mechanical injury, to the cardio-pulmonary lesions caused by electrical current, or to massive skin burn. Early and accurate diagnosis of the injury was of key importance for lowering both mortality and disability.
Zhonghua shao shang za zhi = Zhonghua shaoshang zazhi = Chinese journal of burns 07/2003; 19(3):172-4.