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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course OSHA Electrical Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Electrical Resistance and Current Pathway Through the Body

The resistance that is encountered is dependent on the body tissue that is traversed by the electrical current. Generally, tissues with high fluid electrolyte concentrations will conduct electricity the best. Bone is the most resistant tissue to electrical flow. Skin impedes electrical current, but resistance is dependent on the skin's thickness and presence of moisture. Wet skin can reduce the contact resistance of the body.
The degree of electricity-induced injury is also determined by which tissues are in the current pathway. Tissues with high fluid electrolyte concentrations conduct electricity the best. Electrical current that passes through the head or thorax produces the most serious injuries including fatal arrhythmia, direct cardiac damage, respiratory arrest, direct brain injury, and paralysis.