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.
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.