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Lightning Strike Survivors

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Even in the movies, you may hear people casually joke about wanting to experience a lightning strike, just to see what it's like. But any lightning victim will tell you that the lifelong after-effects of a strike are no amusement park ride - that is, if you manage to survive.

While it's true that the chances of you being injured or killed by lightning are very small, it's wise to exercise a little caution along with some good old-fashioned common sense when thunderstorms are forecast for your area. [ More on Lightning Safety ]

Click on a subheading to read:
True Stories by Lightning Strike Survivors
Symptoms and Common Injuries
Internet Resources

True Stories by Lightning Strike Survivors

These individuals have sent their personal accounts of their experiences. (Click on a listing for that person's story.)

Symptoms and Common Injuries

Victims of lightning strikes often experience mysterious symptoms that doctors are unable to pinpoint. These symptoms often are not life-threatening, but they may be chronic and usually do not go away with time.

Symptoms Sometimes Experienced:

  • Muscle Pains- may be cramp-like, sometimes intense
  • Tingling Sensations
  • Loss or Alteration of Senses- eyesight and/or hearing problems,loss of touch, inability to feel heat, cold, pressure, and/or pain, or sensations of pain (sometimes severe) with no source
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Siezures
  • Mental Depression- common among survivors, depression may set in as a result of: The bothersome symptoms that no doctor can seem to explain, and the reality that the symptoms may last a lifetime; the feeling of isolation, as lightning strikes are relatively rare and survivors have little or no faculties for sharing their experience.

Common Injuries Caused by Lightning

Some victims of lightning strikes thankfully escape without any severe or permanent injury. However, injuries recieved due to a lightning strike can be serious or life-threatening.
  • Cardiac and/or Repiratory Arrest- The leading cause of death for strike victims. However, most victims that have gone into cardiac arrest can be easily revived with the immediate and proper administration of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (C.P.R.). Many lightning-caused deaths could have been avoided if C.P.R. had been immediately administered to the victims.
  • Central Nervous System (C.N.S.) damage
  • Burns
  • Deafness or hearing loss
  • Blindness or loss of eyesight
  • Muscle and/or Ligament tearing, Bone Fractures- caused by violent muscle contractions due to the electric current from a lightning strike

Internet Resources

The following sites contain valuable information for lightning strike and electric shock victims:

Storm chaser and photographer Dan Robinson
About the Author: Dan Robinson has been a storm chaser, photographer and cameraman for 30 years. His career has involved traveling around the country covering the most extreme weather on the planet including tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, floods and winter storms. Dan has been extensively published in newspapers, magazines, web articles and more, and has both supplied footage for and appeared in numerous television productions and newscasts. He has also been involved in the research community, providing material for published scientific journal papers on tornadoes and lightning. Dan also holds an active Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA (Part 107) for commercial drone operation.

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