Curious Question #9 : Current Shock – Why we die?

Current Shock

When you receive an electric shock, the current needs some place to enter your body and someplace to exit. The entry point is where you touch the wire or whatever you touched to cause the shock. The exit point is a place such as your foot on the ground.

The electric current then passes through your body, between those two points. It will excite the nerves, and you will tingle, or maybe even burn. In most cases an electric shock will cause your muscles to contract, and you will pull away from the wire.

You may have a problem if the electricity has to pass through a vital part of your body, such as your heart. For example, if you touch the wire with your left hand and it passes through your heart out through your right foot, you could have an issue. If the wire has sufficient power, the current would go through your heart and stop it, killing you.

Electric fences used by farmers are designed to have very little current. They tingle you, but they are designed to be “current limited”, and so they cannot kill you. The big security fences (used to keep people out) have enough power that if you touch them with your left hand and are standing on the right foot, they could kill you. Power lines (like those coming into your house) are not current limited, and will kill you if you touch them. The wires inside your home have fuses, so it is not likely that they will kill you if you touch them, but they will give you a painful burn.


The maximum current that causes the flexors of the arm to contract and release the hand from the source is called a “let-go current.” The strength of the current that allows you to let go of the source depends on your weight and muscle mass. The average let-go current is 9 mA for a female and 15 mA for a male. If the extensor muscles are shocked by the current, a person may be thrown away from the current instead of being forced to hold on.

Courtesy: Duk Gaming via

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