What is lightning strike injury?

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Lightning strike injury: Overview

The skin burn from lightning strikes may not be severe. Lightning current usually flows over the body (flashover) and does not injure deeper organs or tissues, which is the reason some people can survive a lightning strike. A direct lightning strike can occur when a person is holding or wearing metal objects. Lightning can also strike objects near a person, and some of the lightning current can travel to the person indirectly (called a splash). The electrical current from lightning can cause the same problems as from other electrical sources, depending on how direct the strike is. Participating in outdoor sports activities increases your risk of being struck by lightning.

You need to be evaluated by a doctor if you have been struck by lightning, even if the injury appears minor. Burns from a lightning strike or electrical power also need to be evaluated by a doctor.

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