Shocked from my mother - explanation

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by coneyisland, May 27, 2008.

  1. coneyisland

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 27, 2008
    My mother passed on a few years ago from cancer.
    I had the opportunity to be with her during her last months, days, hours and minutes. There was a somewhat startleing phenonema that began to
    take place every 2-3 days during her last month alive. I have nevler been able to get any answers from the medical field and so here I am.
    When I bent down close to Mom's face there was an electrical charge
    that came off of her skin. There was also a small electrical crackeling sound. On a few occassions we felt a mild shock. It became stronger during her last days. There were other family members and the hospice nurse that witnessed this so I know I wasn't psychotic.
    Can anyone tell me what was going on ? Thanks seriously
  2. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    I am really sorry about your mother.
    I think you should better ask a 'real' doctor, a doctor who knows his job very well.
    But if the problem is not medical i think static electricity was developing on your mother body. Maybe some other objects near her were developing static electricity and your mother was touching them or she was getting charged by induction. Because your mother was in a higher potential than you you felt that shock when charges were moving from her body to your body.
    I am not an expert neither a doctor, i just have some knowledge on electricity and i told you what i believe.
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    The problem is electrical, not medical.

    Initially, I was thinking along the lines of various monitors/pumps/etc. that might be attached to your mother. Then, you mention hospice, which might reduce that number considerably.

    Grounding in hospitals and other health care places can be a problem for sensitive patient-monitoring equipment. Perhaps it was something like a defective ground? Consider that she was in an an electrically adjustable bed. When you bent over the rail, you are at some "bed" potential. If your mom were connected to any monitoring or continuous infusion device (electronic), she could have been at a different voltage potential, which would lead to the phenomenon you describe. One can propose other combinations that would lead to the same observation.

    Hospital codes are quite strict with respect to grounding and use of isolation transformers as appropriate. The scenario you describe is not normal nor acceptable, but it might result if there were a defect in the system. It should be reported to the hospital administration and/or to the regulatory body in the US (JCAHO).


    Edit: BTW, I am not discounting static, as already mentioned. Just adding another possibility.
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  4. abhishek_h

    New Member

    May 25, 2008
    another eg:
    If you jump onto a high voltage overhead cable and hang on to it without touching anything else, you will be at a high potential. but since there is no ground path, the electricity will not flow and you will not get a shock. but if some grounded object touches you, then a shock will be felt.
  5. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    I have felt static shock numerous times. Just a few months back (in feb) there was a time when I would feel electric shock when I touched a friend or even lift a spoon, after which the charge would neutralize and the fun would go away. I think it had a lot more to do with the stuff at my home(It normally has a lot to do with surrounding - the blanket,bed,attire etc). My friend was afraid to touch me at that time, I would feel the shock too, but it was fun. If you felt a shock and it lasted for a few seconds only, then there is a good chance it was a static shock.
  6. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    Static is the first thing that crossed my mind when I read this; I often get shocks (typically audible and quite startling) from colleagues in one of the labs at work and we have put his down to my shoes (which are different from everyone else's) and the fine-pile carpet in the said lab. It doesn't happen with other people, only me and someone else. The up-shot of this is that I (Dave) am the issue electrically not the person I am coming into contact with as I am the common factor in this. In respect of the OP, I think the fact that it appeared to be getting stronger was possibly more coincidental than anything.

  7. nanovate

    Distinguished Member

    May 7, 2007
    Dry air and synthetic fibers can also contribute to static build-up
  8. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    It would be interesting to know something about the ward surroundings (e.g. carpet, bedding, etc).

  9. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Also humidity. With you guys over there going into summer, was the humidity dropping... allowing a higher static build up..?