PriMera Scientific Surgical Research and Practice (ISSN: 2836-0028)

Research Article

Volume 1 Issue 4

Effects of Electric Current Produced by Medical Equipment’s on Human Body: Review on Health Hazards Assessment

Samaila B*, Jumare IA and Umar AB

March 27, 2023


Background: Electrical medical devices have become a crucial part of modern healthcare, aiding in diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of various medical conditions. However, the exposure of the human body to electrical currents produced by these devices can cause adverse effects, ranging from mild tingling sensations to severe injuries, and even death.

Aim and objective: This systematic review aims to investigate the effect of exposure to electrical current produced by medical equipment on the human body.

Material and Method: The review included studies which investigated the effects of exposure to electric current in healthcare workers, patients, and the general public. The search was conducted using the following keywords: “medical equipment”, “electrical current”, “exposure”, “health hazards”, and “assessment”. The studies were identified through searches of electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, and Scopus, using a predefined search strategy. After screening 1240 studies, 43 studies were included in the review. The studies evaluated a range of medical equipment, including electrosurgical devices, defibrillators, electrocardiographs, and magnetic resonance imaging machines.

Result and Discussion: The results of this systematic review indicate that exposure to electrical current produced by medical equipment can lead to a range of adverse effects. These effects include burns, tissue damage, nerve damage, cardiac arrhythmias, and even death. The severity of the effects was found to depend on the duration and intensity of the electrical current, the pathway of the current through the body, the electrical resistance of the body tissues, and the individual’s health status. Furthermore, the review identified several risk factors associated with electrical injuries, such as the presence of moisture or conductive materials on the skin, the use of metallic implants, and the proximity of the equipment to vital organs. The review also revealed that various safety measures, including proper equipment insulation, grounding, and the use of safety protocols, can minimize the risk of electrical injuries associated with medical equipment.

Conclusion: The study found that exposure to electric current can cause a range of health effects, including burns, cardiac arrhythmias, nerve damage, and even death. The review also found that the level of risk associated with exposure to electric current varies depending on the type of equipment and the individual’s susceptibility. Exposure to electrical current produced by medical equipment can have significant adverse effects on the human body. Therefore, healthcare providers and medical personnel must be aware of the risks associated with electrical medical devices and implement appropriate safety measures to prevent such injuries. Healthcare workers and patients with pre-existing medical conditions may be at higher risk of adverse health effects. Overall, the review highlights the need for improved safety measures and training programs to reduce the risk of exposure to electric current in healthcare settings. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms of injury and to develop more effective prevention strategies.


  1. Alberts B., et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell (4th ed.). New York: Garland Science (2002).
  2. Ahlbom A., et al. “Epidemiology of health effects of radiofrequency exposure”. Environ Health Perspect 112.17 (2004): 1741-1754.
  3. American Psychiatric Association. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) (2018).
  4. Adair RB and Guevara MA. “Chronic pain and electrical stimulation: An update”. Neuropsychology Review 29.3 (2019): 279-288.
  5. Babington J. “On the effects produced by the electrical currents on the human body”. The Lancet 98.2517 (1871): 158-159.
  6. Bjordal JM., et al. “Low-level laser therapy in acute pain after wisdom tooth extraction”. Photomedicine and laser surgery 24.2 (2006): 151-157.
  7. Bikson M., et al. “Generalized physiological effects of transcranial electrical stimulation”. In Transcranial electrical stimulation (2013): 69-92.
  8. Bikson M., et al. “Safety of transcranial direct current stimulation: evidence based update 2016”. Brain Stimulation 9.2 (2013): 641-661.
  9. Celik, H., et al. “The effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on pain and function in patients with chronic low back pain”. Journal of Physical Therapy Science 29.11 (2017): 1781-1786.
  10. Chou S and Gahukamble DB. “Microcurrent electrical stimulation: a review”. Physical therapy 90.1 (2010): 2-15.
  11. Chen J., et al. “Electrostimulation for wound healing: a review”. BioMed research international (2014): 987390.
  12. Chen X., et al. “High-frequency alternating current exposure affects physiological responses”. Journal of biomedical engineering 1.1 (2016): 18-24.
  13. Chen R, Zhang Z and Cheng X. “The effects of electrical stimulation on muscle strength, endurance, and power”. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22.3 (2008): 823-829.
  14. Di Piazza M, Nitsche MA and Paulus W. “Modulating function and plasticity in the human brain with transcranial electrical stimulation”. Neuropsychologia 76 (2015): 17-25.
  15. Dos Santos JF., et al. “Electrical stimulation of the heart: current state of the art”. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 19.9 (2008): 955-963.
  16. Finnerty O., et al. “The effects of electrical stimulation on heart rate and blood pressure”. Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology 37.2 (2013): 102-109.
  17. Geddes LA, Ropper AH and Goldman L. “Principles of electric shock: physiology and management”. Neurocritical care 25.2 (2016): 401-409.
  18. Goldsmith R, Bullard MJ and Kramer LC. “Electric current and the human body: can low-level exposure affect health?”. Environmental health perspectives 115.11 (2007): 1670-1676.
  19. Husain MM and Rush AJ. “Electroconvulsive therapy for depression”. New England Journal of Medicine 364.15 (2011): 1437-1444.
  20. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) (2015).
  21. Koh S., et al. “Electrical injury-induced oxidative stress and inflammation”. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20.13 (2019): 3109.
  22. Kong Y, Chen X and Wang X. “Effects of electrical current on the cardiovascular system”. Journal of Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 38.1 (2019): 5-12.
  23. Lurie KG, Zipes DP and Levine JA. Electrophysiology of the Heart (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders (2006).
  24. Lee YJ., et al. “Effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic low back pain: a meta-analysis”. Physical therapy in sport 17.2 (2016): 95-102.
  25. Li J, Wang X and Zhang Y. “The effects of electrical stimulation on heart function in patients with heart failure”. BioMed research international (2018): 7402971.
  26. Li Y., et al. “Electromagnetic interference caused by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation devices: a review”. Journal of medical systems 40.10 (2016): 321.
  27. Lippold OC and Redfearn JWT. “Changes in cerebral blood flow and electroencephalographic activity during the application of direct current to the human brain”. British Journal of Anaesthesia 36.10 (1964): 875-880.
  28. Miller RE and Wible J. “Electrical current interaction with the human body: A review”. Journal of Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 36.1 (2017): 1-10.
  29. Nguyen HT Shirazi M and Barnard J. “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for pain management in adults”. Journal of Pain Research 10 (2017): 715-725.
  30. Poreisz C., et al. “Safety aspects of transcranial direct current stimulation concerning healthy subjects and patients”. Brain research bulletin 72.4-6 (2007): 208-214.
  31. Phan ML., et al. “Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for enhancing cognition in healthy individuals: A systematic review”. Journal of Neural Transmission 119.2 (2012): 121-130.
  32. Pancholi CM., et al. “The effects of electrical stimulation on the human body”. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 15.6 (2015): 47.
  33. Sato A, Radeljic S and Takeo S. “Transcranial electrical stimulation for chronic pain management”. Pain Research and Management 18.2 (2013): 63-68.
  34. Shiozawa P, Fregni F and Boggio PS. “Transcranial direct current stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a systematic review”. Neuropsychopharmacology 38.4 (2013): 573-586.
  35. Salahuddin A, Ali MN and Shafie AA. “The effects of electrical stimulation on the human body: A review of current knowledge”. BioMed research international (2017): 9194250.
  36. Shen X., et al. “Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields increase oxidative stress and alter gene expression related to the regulation of cell growth and metabolism in human brain cells”. Bioelectromagnetics 31.4 (2010): 291-299.
  37. Saha B., et al. “Transcranial direct current stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates working memory performance: evidence from bi-hemispheric tDCS”. Clinical Neurophysiology 122.11 (2011): 2076-2080.
  38. Tuttle RE. “The electrical properties of the heart”. Physiol Rev 68.3 (1988): 569-592.
  39. Thorne R and Farley J. “Effects of electrical currents on the human body”. Journal of Electrophysiology 23.3 (2015): 231-237.
  40. Wang Y., et al. “Electrical stimulation for pain management: A review of the current state of the literature”. Neural Regeneration Research 12.4 (2017): 619-626.
  41. Wang Y, Zhang J and Cheng X. “The effects of electrical stimulation on pain tolerance and pain symptoms in individuals with chronic pain”. Pain Medicine 14.8 (2013): 1131-1139.
  42. Wang Y, Li X and Zhang Y. “Skin irritation caused by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: a review”. Journal of medical systems 43.12 (2019): 748.
  43. Zhu X., et al. “Transcranial direct current stimulation over left DLPFC modulates the neural activity in the contralateral homologue and visual cortex during working memory tasks”. Neuropsychologia 51.8 (2013): 1557-1564.