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Lightning and electrical injuries 

Lightning and electrical injuries
Lightning and electrical injuries

Chris Andrews

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date: 25 February 2021

Lightning strikes are rare accidents but carry a 10% case fatality, killing 0.1–0.3 per million population each year. During thunderstorms, the risk is increased by sheltering under trees or by being on open water, on tractors, or in open fields or in outdoor activity.

Lightning is considered to cause instant asystole. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation is mandatory. Survivors might develop complications including pain syndromes and psychological sequelae. Burns are generally of minor consequence, unlike electrical injury. The most disabling consequences of the injury is generally the psychological sequelae. Meanwhile, electrocution is the fifth most common cause of workplace death, mainly affecting utilities, mining, and construction labourers. Domestic electrical accidents are common, where contact with overhead power lines, faulty power tools, and particularly using extension cords, are the most common causes, with metal ladders and antennae being particularly dangerous.

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