Pioneering the treatment of electrical injury


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IMPROVING THE TREATMENT OF ELECTRICAL INJURY THROUGH MULTIDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION CETRI was founded to facilitate multidisciplinary clinical research and is dedicated to improving the treatment of survivors of electric shock. Our multi-institutional team of clinicians, epidemiologists, biologists, and engineers are all appointed at leading universities in Chicago and have been caring for electrical injury survivors for over 20 years. CETRI's medical team has reported many of the new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of electrical injury and is committed to helping each individual on the path to recovery.



Because the body's physiological processes involve many electrical interactions, electrical shock can present clinically in a widely different ways. The effect of electricity on the body depends on the strength and frequency of the electric field, the path of the current, and the tissue type. Nerves and muscles are highly sensitive to electric forces because of their shape and physical properties, therefore they are easily damaged by electric shock. When in contact with the human body, electrical current causes damage to multiple types of cells, tissues, and organs through several pathways that depend on tissue-current interaction, voltage, duration of injury, and path through the body, a well as variations in body size and presence of protective gear. Even survivors of brief electrical shock with no evident burn injury can have neurological or neuromuscular problems. CETRI faculty have reported that electrical injury patients have decreased performance on cognitive and select neuropsychological exams compared to matched control patients. In the long term, electrical injury is associated with PTSD and major depressive disorder. A number of psychiatric symptoms have been reported, including phobias, anxiety, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

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