Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 decade ago

How much electric current is needed to kill a human being? Explain. how you could help a victim of shock?

electrical shock .. ?

8 Answers

  • Dan S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Only 10 milli amperes (0.0001 amps) through the heart is enough to kill a human.

    The Mythbusters, a show on The Discovery Channel, covered this proving that an electrical appliance dropped into a bathtub, plugged into a standard 110 to 120 volt socket will provide enough current to kill a person.

    Current (kind of like the speed of electricity) is the key factor. With a Tesla coil you can generate thousands of volts and it only gives you a shock like that you get when you get a static electricity shock from a doorknob. Voltage doesn't kill you it is the amperage.

    Since we are mostly water we can conduct electricity pretty well so getting shocked can be serious, the difference between life and death is if you are grounded. Since a car has rubber tires if a power line falls on top of the car you will be safe; as long as you remain inside the car.

    But, you can have a huge bolt of lightning go through you and still survive, if it grounds out without having to go through your heart, even then some people have had their hearts stopped and received medical attention in time to save their lives.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Very little!

    The average adult heart can take no more than about 1 watt /sec of 110V@60Hz for about 0.5 seconds before stopping. That's about 10 milli amps of 110Vac. 10 milli amps is 0.010 amp (not 0.0001 amp). Thus, your basic home Ground Fault Interrupting (GFI) circuit breakers are set to trip at 5 milli amps or greater imbalance current between lines caused by either line leaking to ground . The GFI sensor takes 1 cycle to detect a ground fault and the breaker mechanism will break a fault in less than 1 cycle. That's 2 cycles maximum or only 0.033 secs for the GFI to open the circuit and stop the current flow. Thus, a GFI breaker can easily save a person's life if he or she is in a ground fault path.

    Unless hit by lightning, Disconnect the person from the electrical sorce without touching them directly, or turn off the power at the source switch. If no breathing or no heartbeat, start CPR procedures and then get help or call 911.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dan S has got it it's about 10 mill amps. High voltage is what makes Tazers work. The high voltage disrupts your nervous system so your muscles quit working. Static electricity is high volts low amps. Like when you reach for a car door and get a small shock. If you can see a spark your carrying over 20,000 volts on you waiting to discharge. Standard first aid for shock but keep an eye on the heart beat because they can still be carrying latent voltage on them like a giant capacitor.

  • Tom V
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It depends on the conduction path. A current path across the heart is a lot more dangerous than a current path, say, between two fingers on the same hand. (You could probably cook the muscle tissue in that case without putting the person's life directly at risk.)

    The usual rule of thumb is that you can feel 1ma, 10ma tightens your muscles so much that you can't let go of the conductor, and 100ma is a high risk of fatality.

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  • 6 years ago

    How much electric current is needed to kill a human being ? is it measured in Amps or resistance..........?

  • Tim C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    !00 mA for most people, less for people with unhealthy hearts.

    To help the victim be sure that the source of power is removed. Then provide CPR if needed.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    100 mA across the heart is often fatal.

  • 7 years ago

    enough to smack you around like a chinese rag doll :[)

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