What would happen to your body if you were struck by lightning right now?
- Your body will be under direct influence of the strike for approximately 3 milliseconds.
- 1/3 of you will die from cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, inhibition of your brainstem’s respiratory centers or just from a catastrophic, multisystem failure.
- The majority of you will:
- Have one or both of your eardrums burst.
- Experience a loss of consciousness.
- Have 3rd degree burns from metal you were in contact with at the time of the strike such as jewelry as well as very small, but deep burns at the entry and exit wound sites. (The temperature of a lightning strike is about 28,000 degrees Celsius and 50,000 Farenheit). These burns will often take the shape of Lichtenburg Figures under the skin: Link with pics.)
- Experience complete (but temporary) paralysis.
- Experience bursting capalaries under your skin from shockwave or current.
- If you happen to be listening to AM radio you’ll be unnable to get reception for the duration of the strike as lightning severely interferes with amplitude modulation.
- The heat of lightning that strikes sandy areas of the ground underneath you may fuse the soil or sand into glass channels called fulgurites.
- Your clothing may become shredded, torn off or singed.
- Early on, survivors will complain of intense headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and other post-concussion types of symptoms.
Long-term effects that 70% of you have to look forward to:
- Numbness/Weakness in limbs.
- Sleep and memory disorders and problems concentrating.
- Storm Phobia combined with Post Traumatic Stress disorder.
- Development of seizure-like activity several weeks or even months after the injury.
- Possible personality changes because of frontal lobe damage and increased irritability and anger.
Other Things to Consider:
- If you can hear thunder you are within range of a ground strike.
- The voltage of a typical industrial electrical shock is 20 to 63 kilovolts, while a lightning strike delivers about 300 kilovolts.
- Roy Sullivan has the record for being the human who has been struck by lightning the most times. Working as a park ranger, Roy was struck seven times over the course of his 35 year career. He lost his big toe and suffered multiple injuries to the rest of his body.
- On average, lightning strikes the earth about 100 times every second.
- By counting the seconds between the flash and the thunder and dividing by 3, you can estimate your distance from the strike in kilometers. (By 5 for miles.)
- Your chances of this happening are 1 in 280,000.
Help for survivors, families, physicians and other professionals:
Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors, International (LSESSI)
LSESSI has printed materials, offers tremendous support, networks survivors with others in their area, and provides an annual meeting where survivors come together for support and lectures from professionals who work with lightning and electrical survivors and their families. LSESSI can be reached at 910-346-4708, firstname.lastname@example.org, or see their Website at http://www.lightning-strike.org/, or at P.O. Box 1156, Jacksonville, NC 28541-1156.