J Korean Burn Soc.  2010 Dec;13(2):91-96.

The Incidence and Risk Factors of Psychiatric Complications in Electrical Injury

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Hanil General Hospital, KEPCO Medical Foundation, Seoul, Korea. oceanpyo@empal.com
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Hanil General Hospital, KEPCO Medical Foundation, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Hanil General Hospital, KEPCO Medical Foundation, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of General Surgery, Capital Armed Forced General Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Electrical injuries may cause many psychiatric complications such as depression, acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. The purpose is to search the incidence of psychiatric complications in electrical injury and to compare its associated risk factors with other burn and trauma.
We reviewed the medical records of 709 electrically injured patients who were admitted to Hanil General Hospital from 2002 to 2007. Psychiatric complications were defined as depression, acute stress disorder and PTSD according to DSM-IV. We sorted the medical records into demographics, hospitalization, electrical voltage, injured type, extent or site of burn and type of amputation.
Total incidence of psychiatric complications was 27.5% (Depression; 15.8%, acute stress disorder or PTSD; 17.6%). High voltage injured patients had psychiatric complications 2.38 times higher than low voltage. Incidence of psychiatric complications were 1.83 times in 6~10% of BSA, 2.01 times in 11~20% and 2.41 times in 21~30% higher than in 0~5% of BSA. If the site of burn included face, psychiatric complications occurred 1.96 times more than other sites. Patients with history of minor and major amputation showed 2.39 and 7.70 times incidence of psychiatric complications, respectively.
The risk factors of psychiatric complications were high voltage electrical injury, facial burn, extent of burn and history of amputation. If the patients have risk factors, earlier psychiatric consultation may help to manage the psychiatric complications of electrical injury.


Electrical injury; Psychiatric complications; Incidence; Risk factors
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