We are in the process of developing educational resources to enhance understanding of ionic injuries. In the meantime, the resources below are gathered from peer-reviewed research, and presentations designed for professionals and people living with a history of chronic exposure to electrical or electromagnetic fields.
Understanding Electrical Injury
This audio recording of Dr. Marc Jeschke’s keynote address is to the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta. He explains the similarities between high and low voltage electrical injuries, the physical and social impacts of these injuries, and what research is needed to improve patient outcomes. A special thank you to Dr. Jeschke for permission to share his keynote address with Sarah Price Hancock to share as an educational resource. (Presentation slides).
This is a working literature review detailing research detailing how repeated exposure to high field strength electricity deteriorates voltage gated ion channels resulting in acquired channelopathies. It provides a window of understanding into the episodic paroxysmal neuromuscular symptoms patients manifest or describe experiencing specific to episodic paroxysmal dyskinesia, Acquired Periodic Paralysis, episodic dystonia, episodic ataxia, sodium-dysregulation driven atypical hemipelagic migraines, calcium-dysregulation Tetanic (non-epileptic) seizures, Arrhythmia, long QT, etc. This information is relevant for neuromuscular specialists, neurologists, psychiatrists, emergency room doctors, general practitioners, and dentists treating patients with medication which acts on ion channels (lidocaine and other amino amines, albuterol inhalers). People with the highest exposure to repetitive low-voltage electrical injury are electricians, welders, veterans, or other professionals repeatedly exposed to high field strength electricity in work environments, people exposed to low-voltage/high field strength electrical injury in the home, and patients prescribed repeated exposure to high field strength electricity (Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)/Electroshock treatment, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), etc.)
This is a study designed “To determine acute and long-term clinical, neuropsychological, and return-to-work (RTW) effects of electrical injuries (EIs). This study aims to further contrast sequelae between low-voltage and high-voltage injuries (LVIs and HVIs). [Authors] hypothesize that all EIs will result in substantial adverse effects during both phases of management, with HVIs contributing to greater rates of sequelae.”
Objective To determine acute and long-term clinical, neuropsychological, and return-to-work (RTW) effects of electrical injuries (EIs). This study aims to further contrast sequelae between low-voltage and high-voltage injuries (LVIs and HVIs). We hypothesize that all EIs will result in substantial adverse effects during both phases of management, with HVIs contributing to greater rates of sequelae.
Design Retrospective cohort study evaluating EI admissions between 1998 and 2015.
Setting Provincial burn centre and rehabilitation hospital specialising in EI management.
Participants All EI admissions were reviewed for acute clinical outcomes (n=207). For long-term outcomes, rehabilitation patients, who were referred from the burn center (n=63) or other burn units across the province (n=65), were screened for inclusion. Six patients were excluded due to pre-existing psychiatric conditions. This cohort (n=122) was assessed for long-term outcomes. Median time to first and last follow-up were 201 (68–766) and 980 (391–1409) days, respectively.
A 13 minute presentation given at the international “A Disorder for Everyone” annual festival, September 17, 2021.
Acquired communication disorders caused by electrical trauma present unique communication barriers due to their evolving symptom manifestation. Initially anomic aphasia, cognitive communication disorder and mild dysarthria may be present. As the person ages away from the initial injury, communication barriers can become more pronounced with age.