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Physiological changes during electrical asphyxiation
  1. L. S. Levy2
  1. aDepartment of Occupational Health, Clinical Sciences Building, University of Manchester, Manchester


    Levy, L. S. (1971).Brit. J. industr. Med.,28, 164-171. Physiological changes during electrical asphyxiation. In this study of death caused by electric shock the rabbit has been used as an experimental animal to elucidate some of the physiological changes that occur in the blood gas, acid-base, and cardiorespiratory systems during long, non-fibrillating electric shocks. The results obtained were compared with known and confirmed observations for obstructive asphyxiation produced by tracheal occlusion. The main finding was that in electrical asphyxiation the lack of respiratory movements during the shock coupled with the rapid development of a very severe metabolic acidosis caused very early cardiac standstill. This indicates the urgent need for the instigation of resuscitatory procedures after such accidents.

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    • 2 Present address: Chester Beatty Research Institute, Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Cancer Hospital, Pollards Wood Research Station, Nightingales Lane, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks.

    • 1 This paper is based on work presented in an M.Sc. thesis.