Pregnant and Electric Shock

Thread Starter

Karina07

Joined Jul 27, 2021
4
Hello all,

Yesterday I realised that my steam iron wire protection which is material was worn out from rubbing against the ironing board. I grabbed the wire without even thinking at the part which was worn out and I got quite an electric shock for a second -not sure how long it actually was(and a fright) I felt it in my thumb for an hour afterwards. On further inspection of the wire, we saw that even the rubber casing was thorn and the inside colour wires exposed--- meaning i touched this!! I did not faint or feel any pain except a weird feeling in my thumb.

I am 20 weeks pregnant and was very worried about the fetus wellbeing. I went to see the midwife immediately who heard the babys heartbeat and doesn´t seem to be worried, I am also feeling the baby move every few hours. Even though the midwife is not worried, I still am... I hope nothing happened to the baby as in long term effects.

Of course looking on google is even worse because of all the scary outcomes that they write about.

Anyone with knowledge about this can explain further on where exactly the current exited it from or what happens in the body when such a thing happens?

I read another post here about a woman getting shocked with a light bulb, but I think that is a milder shock than the one I experienced.

Sorry about this weird post .. you know how us moms to be worry about the slightest thing, imagine something like this!

Thanks for you help.

Regards,
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,805
Generally the path of the current would be to the least resistive path to earth ground, it could take a few paths through the body.
Are you in N.A. or EU? i.e. 120v or 230v?
Generally shock that take place at a single source of the body, the current is low due to the existence of footwear and composite floors etc..
The pain in your thumb is most likely due to the effect on that digits muscle.
I have no medical training at all, but would surmise the danger to the baby was virtually nil. Especially if the heartbeat was not affected.
Unfortunately I would venture that the majority of opinions are going to be pure conjecture.
The only experience I can claim is that I had three relatives who were all midwives! :)
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,617
There is not enough information to do anything but speculate on the answer to your question. If there are two exposed conductors in the damaged part of the cable, that is, if two of the wires have metal exposed, it may well have passed entirely through your thumb and nowhere else.

If only the live conductor is exposed the current would have to have some path to ground, which would be another part of your body. The farther it had to travel the lower the current you would have experienced so to some extent this is self-mitigating.

The most dangerous shocks occur from hand to hand because the current passes across the heart. My surmise is you got a scary but otherwise harmless jolt. Generally, electric shock does damage by burning (on the surface) and by causing heart disruption. We know you (and your baby) didn’t experience the latter and you would see the former on your thumb as the extent of the persistent injury.

It appears you are fine, and there is nothing to worry about. You might want to he sure you have a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) or RCD (Residual Current Device, if you are in the UK) installed for that outlet. It more than likely would have prevented even the unpleasant surprise of the shock by detecting the incorrect path of current and shutting off.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
1,189
Your Stress of "not-knowing", and your constantly worrying about it,
is the only negative-effect that your baby is experiencing from this incident.

Refined-Sugar, including Fruit-Sugars,
and excessive factory refined Carbohydrates, and Grain-derived-Oils, in your Diet,
are much, much worse for your baby.

And no, this is not "speculation".
.
.
.
 

Thread Starter

Karina07

Joined Jul 27, 2021
4
Generally the path of the current would be to the least resistive path to earth ground, it could take a few paths through the body.
Are you in N.A. or EU? i.e. 120v or 230v?
Generally shock that take place at a single source of the body, the current is low due to the existence of footwear and composite floors etc..
The pain in your thumb is most likely due to the effect on that digits muscle.
I have no medical training at all, but would surmise the danger to the baby was virtually nil. Especially if the heartbeat was not affected.
Unfortunately I would venture that the majority of opinions are going to be pure conjecture.
The only experience I can claim is that I had three relatives who were all midwives! :)
Thank you for your answer, I am in the EU. True like many say my over worrying will make it worse... but I dont know why just to have some reassurance from other people does help. thank god neither my heart nor babys heart beat was affected.
 

Thread Starter

Karina07

Joined Jul 27, 2021
4
There is not enough information to do anything but speculate on the answer to your question. If there are two exposed conductors in the damaged part of the cable, that is, if two of the wires have metal exposed, it may well have passed entirely through your thumb and nowhere else.

If only the live conductor is exposed the current would have to have some path to ground, which would be another part of your body. The farther it had to travel the lower the current you would have experienced so to some extent this is self-mitigating.

The most dangerous shocks occur from hand to hand because the current passes across the heart. My surmise is you got a scary but otherwise harmless jolt. Generally, electric shock does damage by burning (on the surface) and by causing heart disruption. We know you (and your baby) didn’t experience the latter and you would see the former on your thumb as the extent of the persistent injury.

It appears you are fine, and there is nothing to worry about. You might want to he sure you have a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) or RCD (Residual Current Device, if you are in the UK) installed for that outlet. It more than likely would have prevented even the unpleasant surprise of the shock by detecting the incorrect path of current and shutting off.
If I remember correctly amongst my panic there were in fact 2 exposed cables. Good to know about the GFCI will inquire about this. Thanks for your reply. It does help! much appreciated
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
3,529
If I remember correctly amongst my panic there were in fact 2 exposed cables. Good to know about the GFCI will inquire about this. Thanks for your reply. It does help! much appreciated
Look in your fuse box (consumer unit, or whatever you call it) and look for a circuit breaker that's twice as wide as the others and fitted with a button (usually red) labelled "test" in addition to the normal switch.
Make sure no-one's doing anything important on a computer and press the "test" button to check that it turns your electricity off. It shouldn't turn off the lights, but just in case, don't try it when it's dark outside.

If the electricity turned off say "hurrah" turn the switch back on and reset the clock on the microwave.

If that worked, then the shock you got was less than the 30mA that would make it trip.
 

hexreader

Joined Apr 16, 2011
540
If you felt no pain at the time, and you did not have an obvious feeling of “shock”, then you received only a mild shock on this occasion. Really nothing to worry about.

I have been stupid enough to get three severe shocks when much younger. I was in no doubt that I was shocked and each time I took 5 to 10 minutes to even recover senses.

240 Volts is 240 Volts (I live in UK). Does not matter whether Iron or light bulb, voltage is the same.

Unless you felt you were hit by a hammer thrown from a bus, then you only received a mild, harmless shock.

Throw the whole Iron away! Next time you might be less lucky

IMHO

Hope this reassures you.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
3,825
Pretty much everyone on this forum has had worse shock events and is none the worse off for it. It is highly unlikely the baby was harmed if you were not thrown across the room as some of us have been.

Bob
 
OP you should be clear about the path of the electric shock. It sounds like from hand (iron) or fingers to thumb? Not hand-to-hand? Either way, it could not have gone through the amniotic sac. The main danger is your involuntary hand/arm/chest muscle contraction and panic.

As a kid, I made a little toy shock generator and tried it out on my mom of course.
She got zapped (hand to hand) and was furious at me for days. More than anyone else I'd shocked with it. Turns out she was pregnant and hadn't told anyone. So my new brother turned out fine, he does not have two heads or anything.
I think the amniotic fluid is very conductive anyhow, so the main current path would not include the fetus, it is protected by the salty water its in.

For reference, I later took the zapper to school (for fun of course) and after I used it on the class bully, he grabbed it and when the teacher went somewhere, he had the entire science class holding hands in a circle and turned up the voltage to max. The entire class screamed and freaked out. It was a good jolt of around 15 people. Teacher walks in. Bad timing.

The circuit was a Forrest Mims one-transistor oscillator, Radio Shack 1k-200k transformer and a model train power pack. Years later I learned the pulses were perfect to make nerves trigger (verses muscles contract).
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
593
The separate embryonic nervous system would mostly be sensing the muscle contractions nearby not the thumb.
Thankfully an electrical shock still felt an hour later on the thumb does not indicate that a pathway formed in the direction of concern or that any complications would be expected. We can always benifit from experiences that impress on us more caution sometimes an incident can strengthen our resolve to be more careful. The many stories historically shows how having a baby causes one to become very responsible after an intense incident.
 
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click_here

Joined Sep 22, 2020
444
As a first aider in my workplace, our training tells us to do this for an electrical shock:
- If unconscious, DRSABCD
- Then to treat any burns (this can be a danger because the person may not be able to feel in that area)
- and then send them to hospital, because of an elevated risk of heart attack in the next few hours.

I'm not sure about in utero as it is outside my training, but I'd speculate that the main danger was with the heartbeat.

If this is a major concern to you I'd suggest that the person to talk to about this is the M/H/N or your family doctor.

i.e. Don't google it, don't ask friends/family/or Karen the naturopath, go and speak to the people who this question falls into their scope of training.
 
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