BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.01.2012.5530
  • Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury

Electrocution-induced atrial fibrillation: a novel cause of a familiar arrhythmia

  1. Mark Dayer
  1. Cardiology Department, Musgrove Park Hospital, Somerset, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alex Langford, alexanderlangford{at}


A previously fit and well 40-year-old man presented to the emergency department with palpitations after suffering an 11 000 volt electrical shock from overhead power cables through a mobile crane which he was operating. His ECG demonstrated the presence of new atrial fibrillation at a rate of 80 beats per min. He was haemodynamically stable, and had otherwise only sustained a small exit burn to his left great toe. Routine blood tests including creatine kinase and troponin T were normal. A bolus of intravenous flecainide failed to restore sinus rhythm, but an amiodarone infusion was successful. An electrical shock is a rare cause of atrial fibrillation. There is no consensus over optimal medical management. Numerous treatment plans have been previously employed with varying degrees of success.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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