Brief contact with a properly functioning electrical fence is unlikely to be fatal. Death associated with an electric fence is rare and requires a careful investigation.
Factors to consider when investigating a death associated with an electrical fence:
(1) evidence of electric fence malfunction
(2) evidence of exposure to water at the same time as the electric fence
(3) evidence for underlying cardiac disease and/or history of cardiac arrhythmia
(4) evidence for a cause of death unrelated to the electric fence
(5) evidence of skin discoloration or burns consistent with electrical injury
Burke et al give a complete method for examining the electrical fence for malfunction.
The standards for agricultural electric fences assumes a momentary exposure. A person who becomes entangled in a fence may be exposed to a greater amount of electricity.
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Specialty: Clinical Laboratory, Emergency Medicine