You are here

Electrical Injury S022

Document
Last amended 
9 January 2020
Current RMA Instruments

Reasonable Hypothesis SOP

41 of 2018

Balance of Probabilities SOP

42 of 2018

Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 202

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 994.0, 994.8
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: T75.0, T75.4
Brief description

This SOP covers both the effects of lightning, and injury due to electric shock/electrocution from a man-made source.

Confirming the diagnosis

This diagnosis is made based on the history and clinical manifestations and can be made by any treating doctor.

The relevant medical specialist is a general or emergency physician.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Electric current injury from implanted pacemakers, defibrillators, and spinal stimulators
  • Electric shock due to alternating or direct current
  • Electrical burns
  • Electrocution
  • Injury from lightning ground potential rise
  • Injury from lightning side flashes
  • Injury from lightning strike
Conditions excluded from SOP
  • Acoustic trauma* or barotrauma* arising from high voltage arcing / thunder
  • Claimed effects of electric or magnetic field radiation (most likely that disease or injury is unrelated to such exposure)
  • Claimed injury from electrostatic currents

* another SOP applies

Clinical onset

Clinical onset will generally be at the time of injury (exposure to electric current).  Although the relevant injuries occur at the time of the exposure they may not become clinically apparent until hours or up to some days later.

Clinical worsening

The only worsening factor is for inability to obtain appropriate clinical management. Any such inability would generally relate to treatment in the immediate aftermath of the injury.