What does it feel like to receive a severe electric shock?

Three summers ago, when working for a company located in Hyderabad I was told to design an experimentation setup comprising solar panels and sensors to evaluate their efficiency under various conditions. In the midst of utter negligence and complete lack of safety awareness I was in a hurry. One thing led to the next, and I ended up with in my hands wires from an AC 230V supply. Then, before I knew it I was screaming at all-out volume, and I didn’t realize the extent of my scream until that point.

The current was flowing into the fingers of one hand, and exiting through the fingers in the hand of another. I felt an intense burning sensation, tingling on my fingers as well as vibrations throughout my body. The entire sensation was more uncomfortable than it was painful. I could tell the situation, and I thought I ought to take the cable off but I couldn’t get myself to let it go. It was as if I was frozen, but with my permission, and with just my brain functioning. It was over when an unnamed boy, for whom I will forever be extremely thankful, heard me on the floor below and ran up the stairs to switch the electricity off. I was completely normal the moment the boy did that. Although I don’t know exactly when I am sure I be struck with electricity for at most 8 seconds.

I had to have an ECG performed later to be sure the shock didn’t interfere with an electrical signal in my heart. Electrocution could be life-threatening when even a small amount of electricity passes through your heart, or causes massive burning in nerve tissues. I was extremely fortunate that nothing happened in my situation. However, I sustained quite severe burns. The external wound was healed in two weeks, however 3 more years on, I have a hardened skin around my fingertips.

The worst thing about my situation is that I hold an associate and masters degrees in electrical Engineering.


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