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Lightening Strike

General Information

The odds of getting struck by lightning are very low. Though, if it happens, it can cause serious medical problems, including burns, internal organ damage and cardiac arrest. This is due to the massive electric current that quickly spreads through the body.

Call 911 if you are with someone who is struck by lightning. Goshen Hospital Emergency Department can provide the care you need. Our emergency physicians are board certified and supported by nurses certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). Rely on our team for medical expertise and compassionate emergency care.

Symptoms of being struck by lightning

If you are hit by lightning, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Vision problems
  • Breathing problems, including not breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest
  • Memory problems, confusion and disorientation
  • Weakness, pain, tingling, numbness and paralysis
  • Thermal burns
  • Loss of consciousness or coma
  • Personal changes, which may be permanent
  • Temporary hearing loss

Seek medical care after being struck by lightning, even if your symptoms seem minor. Prompt treatment can help prevent more serious complications.

How to help a person struck by lightning

If you are with someone who has been hit by lightning, first call 911, then assess the person. It’s safe to touch them, but be aware of any continued danger from lightning strikes. If the person has no pulse and isn’t breathing, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until help arrives. If the area is cold and wet, put a protective layer between the victim and the ground to help reduce the chance of hypothermia.

Emergency medical technicians are able to use electrocardiograms and wirelessly transmit data to Goshen Hospital Emergency Department. That way, our team can be prepared to promptly treat you and provide the highest possible quality of care.

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