How is it that doctors can use the electric paddles on patients with ear or body piercings in place? Won’t the electric shock burn the piercing sites around the metal?

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How is it that doctors can use the electric paddles on patients with ear or body piercings in place? Won’t the electric shock burn the piercing sites around the metal?

In: Technology

Yes it can. You generally have to sign a waiver that says they aren’t liable if surgery comes to having to use the paddles. If you come into the ER and the paddles are needed then you can’t sue the hospital because they did what they could to save your life.

Not my area of expertise but I imagine it’s such a quick pulse, no chance for the metal to hear. Besides, if you’re using a defibrillator, you have an arrhythmia that needs correcting. So either death or potential for light burn localized around some piercings.

Piercings don’t pose a significant electrocution threat during medical procedures, so long as the source of the electrocution does not come into direct contact with the metal itself, and many quality piercings are made of “non-conductive” (less conductive) material like titanium or surgical steel.

If the source of electrocution does come into contact with the metal there is some risk of a minor burn around the site of the piercing, but it would be a fairly minor burn.

They do not apply the paddle to the ‘metal work’ – thus the power is not flowing through the pieces thus reducing – and virtually eliminating the chance of burns.

Depends on which electric paddles you’re talking about, and where they use them. Generally speaking metal will heat up when a current passes through it due to electrical resistance. If a device has low power (voltage*current), then it will probably be okay in terms of hurting the patient. I can’t think of any really high voltage medical devices that pass the current directly through a patient. Defibrillator voltage is usually a few hundred volts but idk what the current is. When I did my emergency first aid training I was told don’t worry about piercings, just give them treatment. This kind of makes sense, if defibrillators do actually cause enough resistive heating that it would make piercings heat up enough to burn (which… idk, seems like that would do more damage to flesh than a conductive metal) then worst case scenario is… a small burn. Plus the paddles don’t usually go on the nipples or earlobes or bellybutton, so probably not a massive issue, as current would only flow through the piercings if the paddles were in contact with them.

High electrical currents are necessary to heat up metals, not voltage.

Defibrillators provide short bursts of high voltages with moderate current (less than 20 amps). Even if a metallic piercing happened to be in between the shock paddle and flesh, such current for such a short time is not likely to affect the metal.