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Epidemiological study (observational study)

Mortality and risk of cardiac complications among immediate survivors of accidental electric shock: a Danish nationwide cohort study.

Published in: BMJ Open 2017; 7 (8): e015967

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A nationwide cohort study was conducted in Denmark to investigate whether electric shock patients have an increased risk of developing cardiac disease, cardiac arrhythmias or death compared with the general population.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Assessment

Population

  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Observation period: 1994 - 2011, follow-up until 2012
  • Study location: Denmark

Case group

  • Characteristics: patients with diagnosis of electric shock from emergency ward, hospital admission or electric shock as cause of death
  • Data source: Danish Civil Registration System, Danish National Patient Registry and Danish Register of Causes of Death
  • Exclusion criteria: struck by lightning, dead at hospital arrival

Control group

  • Selection:
    • population-based
  • Matching:
    • sex
    • age
    • case:control = 1:5

Study size

Cases Controls
Total 11,462 57,310
Statistical analysis method:
  • Kaplan-Meier estimation
  • negative binomial regression

Conclusion (acc. to author)

The 5-year cumulative incidence of death was 0.47% (CI 0.29%-0.65%) for emergency ward patients and 1.04% (CI 0.71%-1.37%) for admitted patients. No difference in 5-year survival was observed compared with matched controls. Cardiac procedures (e.g., pacemaker implantation), arrhythmia or cardiac diseases following electric shock were very rare within 30 days as well as from 31 to 365 days. Fewer than four patients received a pacemaker within 30 days.
The authors conclude that the study did not demonstrate an increase in mortality among patients seen at hospitals after accidental electric shock compared with the general population. Cardiac procedures and diseases following electric shock were very rare. The authors suggest that nearly all patients can be discharged safely from the emergency room after electric shock without further observation.

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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