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Effects of power frequency voltages on amputated human limb
  1. A. O. Carter,
  2. R. Morley
  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, The University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  2. The Medical Branch, H.M. Factory Inspectorate, Newcastle upon Tyne


    Carter, A. O., and Morley, R. (1969).Brit. J. industr. Med.,26, 224-230. Effects of power frequency voltages on amputated human limb. Electric voltages of between 40 and 500 V at 50 Hz and 120 and 240 V direct were applied to freshly amputated mid-thigh legs connected to a heart-lung machine. Current and voltage were recorded against time.

    The direct currents showed a rise of current with time and caused little skin damage. The make and break of the current caused contractions of the muscles.

    The alternating currents produced by voltages between 30 and 80 V showed a steady rise with progressive skin damage. With alternating voltages of 250 and 500 V the current showed a rapid rise, with an equally rapid fall after a period of time. The current wave-form was nonsinusoidal and, after the fall, showed unidirectional impulses. Muscular contraction was tonic but later became clonic due to the impulses of current. This progression has been described in held-on electric shock accidents.

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