Joule Effect

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The Joule Effect states that the amount of electrical energy is dependent upon the:

  • electric current squared
  • resistance of the substance through which the electricity is passing
  • time the current is in contact

For electrical burns the following is the order of increasing resistance: body fluids, blood, muscle, nerves, fat, skin, bone. Hence, bone is particularly susceptible to heating during an electrical injury and this partially explains why such burns may show little surface damage.

Last reviewed 01/2018