Latest NFPA Podcast Introduces Doctor Team Dedicated to the Research and Care of Patients with Electrical Injuries

As electrical professionals, I think we have all, at one point in our career, heard the somewhat tongue-in-cheek warning about electrical hazards that goes something along the lines of, “Warning: Electricity hurts and it hurts the whole time you are dying!” I use the phrase, “somewhat tongue-in-cheek” because many of the images floating around on various social media channels tend to post this as satire rooted in a truth that we in the electrical industry know all too well. However, the fact is, most electrical injuries do not result in death. Death is a real possibility and more likely with electrical hazards than most other hazards, but a lot of workers who experience shock and arc flash incidents do survive. Many, though, often find themselves wishing they hadn’t, and nothing can prepare the individual for what comes next. That’s why, during the recovery process, medical professionals aim to treat the whole individual and not simply the injury.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with a team of doctors who head up the Chicago Electrical Trauma Rehabilitation Institute, or CETRI for short. The goal of this discussion was for me to fully understand what goes into helping an individual recover after such a drastic event in their lives. Among my esteemed guests are Dr. Raphael Lee, a surgeon who has spent a lot of his career dealing with and researching, electrical injuries, and who has contributed many books and papers on what it takes to recover from an injury. I was also joined by Dr. Neil Pliskin, who specializes in neuropsychology and helps a patient recover not just from the physical injury but address the damage that has occurred psychologically. The third member of our panel is Dr. David Weiss. Dr. Weiss specializes in the physical rehabilitation of the patient often after the patient has left the hospital. 

I could go on and on about what I learned in this conversation, but I could never explain it as well as they can. That’s why I’m pleased to invite you to listen to our conversation in the latest episode of The NFPA Podcast series, The Mysteries of Electrical Injuries.

With this week being National Burn Awareness Week, it seems only fitting to share this Podcast with the world! Understanding the process and the multi-disciplinary approach it takes to treat these patients really opened my eyes to the importance of what we do here at NFPA.

Protecting people from electrical hazards is at the core of who we are. Whether it’s installation, workplace safety, or maintenance, our mission is to help make sure you never have to experience an electrical injury. It also helped me to reflect on NFPA’s slogan, “It’s a big world, let’s protect it together!” Through this experience, I have come to see how this is not just some catchy phrase that accompanies the NFPA logo, but rather, it’s a guiding light for my career.  When we interact with people like the team from CETRI, it really becomes a way of life!

Listen to the Podcast and share it with others you know.

Inset photo: Drs. Lee, Pliskin, and Weiss take a moment out of their busy day to talk with clinical coordinator, Kyley McCollum.

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Derek Vigstol
Senior Electrical Content Specialist, focused on technical product/training development

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