The original study was unique because it was one of the first case studies to illustrate the damaging effects of the so-called fifth mechanism of lightning injury, although a number of mechanisms such as sideflash
and ground current may have contributed to the injuries.
Lightning strike results in death in 20%-30% of the injuries and the most common cause of death is cardiopulmonary arrest.1,4 Cardiac events following lightning strikes and the severity of these events vary according to the electric current strength and the duration of exposure.8 Four electrical mechanisms of lightning injury have been described: direct strike, contact, sideflash
, and ground current.
If there are grounded conductors within the sideflash
distance of 1.2 m (4 ft), arc-over may occur.
Lightning can strike directly if a person is out in the open air, or indirectly, for example a sideflash
from a nearby tree.
Lightning can produce a "sideflash
" which can enter your home through an open window.