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

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Alternating Current vs. Direct Current

Alternating current is typically used in power supplied by generators at power plants. Direct current is generally associated with battery power supplies.
Contact with alternating current (AC) is more likely to cause sustained muscular contraction than contact with direct current (DC). This sustained muscular contraction may prevent the victim from releasing the electrical source, increasing the duration of contact and the amount of electrical energy that is delivered.