iPhone Not To Blame In NSW Electrocution Case After All

Yesterday, we mentioned the reported hospitalisation of a NSW women due to an electric shock allegedly caused by an iPhone. Ambulance NSW has now informed Gizmodo that an iPhone was not actually involved in the incident.

Photo: Ambulance NSW

Giz spoke to a Ambulance NSW representative this morning who confirmed that the woman was transported to hospital for reasons that were not a result of burns or shocks related to mobile phones.

“Ambulance Triple Zero received an emergency call about an electric shock caused by a phone and early media reports were based on conversations from unencrypted scanners,” the representative explained. “But it turns out that an iPhone was not involved.”

That said, Ambulance NSW stressed the importance of handling household electrical appliances properly and avoiding faulty products, including frayed cord connections. Between January 1 and June 30 this year, some 232 Triple Zero (000) calls were attended by paramedics for electric shock.

“You only need 1000th of a milliamp to interfere with the electrical activity of your heart, which is not much at all,” NSW Ambulance Inspector John Brotherhood said in a statement. “Basically, if the jolt moves you, if it takes your breath away or if it’s at all a cause for concern, you need to get it checked out."

If you or somebody in your care gets zapped by a phone or other electronic device, Ambulance NSW advises the following:

  • where burns exists, run it under cold water for at least 20 minutes
  • remember the person is electrified until released. Take precautions against receiving a shock yourself by switching off the electricity. If power cannot be disconnected, unless higher than household voltage is involved, free the victim from contact by using a dry stick, board, rope, clothing, plastic pipe or other non-conducting device. DO NOT touch the victim with your bare hands or any metal or moist object
  • assess the level of consciousness, then if victim is not breathing, conduct CPR
  • if at all concerned, dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance

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