How ex­actly does elec­tric­ity kill you?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q&A - FINN CROZIER, LV

AT LOW CUR­RENTS, AC elec­tric­ity

can dis­rupt the nerve sig­nals from the

nat­u­ral pacemaker in your heart and

cause fib­ril­la­tion. This is a rapid flut­ter­ing

vi­bra­tion, too weak to pump blood. If the

rhythm isn’t restarted with a de­fib­ril­la­tor,

it’s usu­ally fa­tal. At higher cur­rents, DC

elec­tric­ity can have the same efffff­fect by

caus­ing the en­tire heart mus­cle to

con­tract at once, which also breaks the

pacemaker rhythm. The high­est cur­rents

(more than one amp) cause burns

through re­sis­tive heat­ing as the

cur­rent passes

through the body.

If this path

crosses the heart

or brain, then

the burn may be


In the event of low- fly­ing ar­rows, do the limbo

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