In essence, the person acts as a “short circuit” for some of energy in the lightning discharge. As you continue to learn about lightning, you’ll start to understand that there is no way to protect people, organizations, and infrastructure from lightning strikes without the right technology. Once there, they will examine the victim for internal or neurological injuries and burns. In addition, ground current can travels in garage floors with conductive materials. hbspt.cta.load(3854287, '78c25d09-0553-43ea-a5d9-1939db140518', {}); Besides cataracts, lightning strikes can also cause corneal damage and complete blindness. What Happens When Lightning Strikes Nearby Since lightning takes the path of least resistance, a nearby strike on your property or in your neighborhood could cause surge issues in your home. In fact, some of these symptoms can induce a lot of pain and prompt drastic lifestyle changes for victims. hbspt.forms.create({ The greater the distance between contact points, the greater the potential for death or serious injury. Once medical professionals arrive on the scene, they will assess the victim’s condition and bring them to a hospital or nearby medical center. That’s 8,170,185 potential direct lightning strike victims! Lightning can travel long distances in wires or other metal surfaces. There is no way to stop a lightning strike from happening, so how do you protect people? Indirect lightning strikes are strikes that discharge their electricity into another object before hitting a person. Also known as Otolaryngologic injuries, hearing injuries from lightning strikes happen when the lightning channel’s sonic shock wave causes an acoustic rupture of the tympanic membrane. The technical phrase for this process is “flashover”. Typically, the lightning enters the body at the contact point closest to the lightning strike, travels through the cardiovascular and/or nervous systems, and exits the body at the contact point farthest from the lightning. While some people walk away with only minor injuries, others lose their lives. There could be charges flowing from surrounding areas towards the point of strike too, as a bolt of lightning has short pulses of current going up as well as coming down. There are a plethora of lightning strike side effects. NWS Our experts think there are two steps. The seven most common long-term lightning side effects include: Headaches that do not resolve with over-the-counter medicine, Problems processing new information and remembering old information. Generally, lightning burns appear on the top half of the body. Lightning injures far more people than it kills. Anyone outside near a lightning strike is potentially a victim of ground current. Since lightning strike victims are safe to touch, you should approach them immediately and get medical help as soon as possible. So when a lightning strike travels over a person’s skin, it will leave a mark. If you’re struck by lightning, your lightning strike side effects could be as minor as cataracts or as serious as death. People call lightning burns a bunch of different names, including Lichtenberg figures, keraunographic markings, feathering, ferning, lightning flowers, and lightning trees. The body does not keep a charge. Side flashes are responsible for about 33% of lightning fatalities. If the victim is conscious and needs treatment for shock, lay them down with their head slightly lower than their torso and legs. Most often, direct strikes occur to victims who are in open areas. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures approaching 50,000 degrees F. That’s just about five times hotter than the surface of the sun. The video below shows an Earth Networks Total Lightning Network analysis of a case where a lightning strike traveled through a cell phone charging wire and struck a teenager. The chance of winning the Mega Millions in 1 in 259,000,000. The first case of a lightning-induced cataract was reported in 1722 by St. Yves. What are the Odds of Being Struck by Lightning? Our Manager of Club Safety here at Earth Networks, Brian Smack, was struck by lightning along with three of his friends. A person struck directly by lightning becomes a part of the main lightning discharge channel. We also call these contact strikes. Normally it moves through the cardiovascular and/or the nervous systems. To better understand the odds of being struck, you should know how many people are struck by lightning annually. If you don’t have an AED, start CPR. This is known as the ground current. Ground currents account for 50% of all lightning strike fatalities. Indirect Lightning Strikes Can Kill. The first step in preventing lightning strike injuries and fatalities is understanding how lightning forms. When you about think being struck by lightning, a direct strike is probably what comes to mind first. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. US Dept of Commerce In essence, the person acts as a “short circuit” for some of energy in the lightning discharge. When lightning happens, it races toward the ground approximately 300000 KM per hour. Immediate medical attention, including calling 911, starting CPR, and using an AED, may be critically important to keep the person alive until more advanced medical care arrives. His wife, who was also struck, developed a cataract less than a year after the injury at 24-years-old. Anyone outdoors or on a floor made of conductive materials is at risk for a ground current strike. Read through this guide for everything you need to know about lightning strike survivors, injuries, and deaths, or click on the subject you’d like to learn more about below. Whether inside or outside, anyone in contact with anything connected to metal wires, plumbing, or metal surfaces that extend outside is at risk. If the victim does not seem to be in shock and can move, move to a lightning safe shelter like a grounded building or vehicle. Unfortunately, the most serious medical side effect of lightning strikes is death. A lot of side flash lightning strike victims are those seeking shelter under a tree or other tall object, which is something you should never do during a thunderstorm. When lightning strikes an object, like a tree, much of the energy travels outward from the strike in and along the ground surface. Then a portion of the current moves through the body. This can cause permanent deafness in lightning strike victims. You can read the full story on ABC News. If the victim doesn’t receive quick and comprehensive medical attention, they often pass away from cardiovascular arrest. There are five ways lightning can strike you: A direct lightning strike is when lightning strikes a person directly, meaning the person becomes a part of the main lightning discharge channel. Please Contact Us. While direct strikes can hit people and even kill them, that’s not the most common way it happens. Remember to always take indoor lightning safety seriously. They were underneath a tree when lightning struck. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration See Robert’s story as an example of a streamer injury. If the person is unconscious and does not appear to be breathing normally, has no breath, or no pulse, use an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is on hand. According to our lightning scientists, direct strikes are responsible for the least amount of lightning strike fatalities and injuries, accounting for just 3%. All you need to do is be in a high electric field or be close to any channel of the lightning flash. Indoors, this includes anything that plugs into an electrical outlet, water faucets and showers, corded phones, and windows and doors. People both inside and outside are at risk for conduction lightning strikes if they are in contact with anything connected to metal wires, plumbing, or any other metal surfaces, like a chain-link fence.

what happens when lightning strikes near you

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