2006 Volume 208 Issue 2 Pages 141-145
Electrical burns are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality, and are usually preventable with simple safety measures. We conducted a retrospective study of non-lightening electrocution deaths in Diyarbakir, Turkey between 1996 and 2002. All 123 deaths investigated were accidental. The age range was 2 to 63 years with a mean age of 20.7 ± 15.3 years. Eighty-six victims (69.9%) were male. The upper extremity was the most frequently involved contact site in 96 deaths (48%). No electrical burn mark was present in 14 (11.4%) cases. Home accidents were responsible for 56 cases deaths (45.5%). Deaths were caused most frequently by touching an electrical wire (52 cases, 42.3%). There was an increase in electrocution deaths in the summer (47 cases, 38.2%). One hundred one cases (82.1%) were dead on arrival at hospital. The unique findings of our study include younger age (0-10 years) of victims (39 cases, 31.7%) and a means of electrocution (electrical water heaters in bathroom) in 23 cases (18.7%). Rate of deaths due to electrocution among all medicolegal deaths was found higher in our study than in previous studies. The public should be educated to prevent children to play near electrical appliances and to avoid electrical heaters in the bathroom.