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Neurologic and neuropsychological symptoms during the first year after an electric shock: results of a prospective multicenter study

  • Benoit Bailey
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5. Tel.: +1 514 345 4931x6276; fax: +1 514 345 4823.
    Affiliations
    Division of Emergency Medicine, CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5

    Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5

    Department of Pediatrics, CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5
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  • Pierre Gaudreault
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5

    Department of Pediatrics, CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5
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  • Robert L. Thivierge
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, CHU Ste-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1C5
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      Abstract

      Objectives

      To assess the prevalence of neurologic and neuropsychological symptoms in the short-term and 1 year after an electric shock and to explore whether any of these were associated with risk factors.

      Methods

      Patients presenting to one of 21 EDs between October 2000 and November 2004 were eligible to be enrolled in a prospective observational study after an electric shock if they had risk factors for late arrhythmias. Telephone follow-up was done to evaluate the appearance of symptoms.

      Results

      A total of 30 (26%) of 114 patients complained of neurologic or neuropsychological symptoms at a median of 52 days post–electric shock. At 1 year, 24 (28%) of 86 patients complained of neurologic or neuropsychological symptoms. None of the risk factors evaluated were associated with the symptoms.

      Conclusion

      The prevalence of the symptoms we observed should alarm all emergency physicians that the effect of electricity can cause late neurologic and neuropsychological manifestations.
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