Lightning is one of the top weather-related killers. These problems may include memory problems, vision problems, or movement problems. Skin burns. Most people killed or injured by lightning are outside doing recreational activities or sports, or are working outside such as construction or farming jobs. The blast of electricity (e-lek-trih-sih-t) may give you a headache or it may make you feel weak. Other symptoms of indirect lightning strikes include loss of consciousness, confusion, memory loss about the event, heart damage, temporary paralysis, superficial burns, broken bones and dislocations, skull fractures and neck injuries, shortness of breath due to lung damage, visual problems or cataracts due to eye injury, and ruptured eardrum which can cause pain, hearing loss, and dizziness. Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. Without treatment, the problems caused by lightning injury may worsen or become permanent. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Lightning strikes may cause injury either by a direct strike or indirectly when the current goes through another object or the ground before reaching a person. You may have trouble seeing and hearing. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Check if the person is breathing. Any period of unconsciousness. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not touch metal objects, such as fences, bicycles, and motorcycles. Paralysis. Fast or irregular heartbeat, or chest pain. first Aid & injuries centerTopic Guide. They may last for a short time or can be permanent. Lightning always occurs during thunderstorms, but it isn't necessary for a storm to be directly overhead for you to be in danger of a lightning strike. Indirect Lightning Strikes Can Kill. ©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. Shortness of breath. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2020 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. You have a fast heartbeat and chest pain. If he is not breathing, start CPR (basic life support) if you know how. Other symptoms may include numbness or tingling in your arms or legs. See Additional Information. Lightning can easily travel through metal for long distances. Any noticeable burns. Even with treatment, you may still have long-term problems caused by lightning injury. Hearing thunder, which means lightning is 10 or fewer miles away. The signs and symptoms of lightning injuries can be mild to severe. Chest pain. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. It can also travel from person to person or from telephone wires to you. Last updated on Nov 16, 2020. Turn off anything that uses electricity, such as computers, telephones, and radios. Lightning injuries occur when a person gets struck by lightning. Lightning may hit you directly when you are in an open area or outdoors. Muscle pain, weakness, stiffness, or temporary paralysis. When you hear thunder, seek immediate shelter in a safe place, such as a building. Your healthcare provider will ask questions about your injury and examine you. Hearing or vision loss. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. Select one or more newsletters to continue. Your pain does not go away, or gets worse even after you take medicine. Shortness of breath. Available for Android and iOS devices. REFERENCE:Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Fast or irregular heartbeat, or chest pain, Headache, trouble staying awake, confusion, or dizziness, Muscle pain, weakness, stiffness, or temporary paralysis. Failure to comply may result in legal action. When to Seek Medical Care After a Lightning Strike. According to NOAA, an average bolt of lightning carries 20,000 to … Symptoms of a direct lightning strike can include immediate cardiac arrest. Lightning can occur even if the sky is clear or when it is sunny. A lightning current may also hit a tree, building, or object and then travel to you. Other symptoms of indirect lightning strikes include loss of consciousness, confusion, memory loss about the event, heart damage, temporary paralysis, superficial burns, broken bones and dislocations, skull fractures and neck injuries, shortness of breath due to lung damage, visual problems or cataracts due to eye injury, and ruptured eardrum which can cause pain, hearing loss, and dizziness. Passing out, weak pulse… Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Lightning can strike the same place more than once. You may need one or more of the following tests: Have someone call 911 right away. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information -, Look up ICD10 codes for Burns, External on icd-codes.com, Wildfires Ravage Land, and Lungs, Across the U.S. West, Injuries Shoot Up After Fireworks Laws Loosened in West Virginia. You have questions or concerns about your condition or care. A lightning current may also travel on the ground from the site of the strike to you. home Emotional trauma is best described as a psychological response to a deeply distressing or life-threatening experience. The force produced by lightning can also throw you 10 yards or more. This type of injury can damage several parts of your body because of the fall. Lightning produces an electric current that can pass through your body and damage nerves and organs. You feel dizzy and confused, or have trouble thinking clearly. The threat of lightning actually starts as a thunderstorm approaches, peaks when the storm is overhead, and then gradually diminishes as … Diagnosis may depend on circumstantial evidence, such as the location of groups of affected animals and lack of other signs of disease. If you are in an open field, squat down and put your hands over your ears. Besides sudden death, signs can include singe marks, temporary loss of consciousness in mild cases, and fractures or muscle damage from severe contractions. This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 2 Nov 2020), Cerner Multum™ (updated 2 Nov 2020), ASHP (updated 23 Oct 2020) and others. Subscribe to Drugs.com newsletters for the latest medication news, new drug approvals, alerts and updates. What are the signs and symptoms of lightning injuries? 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2020 6 signs and symptoms of a lightning strike