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Severe Lightning Injury

What is it?

Lightning is a strong electrical (e-lek-trih-kull) charge that can pass through or over your body. You may be hurt if it hits you or something close to you. You may get burned from metal things that are on you, such as a belt buckle, zipper, or coins. Lightning may hurt your brain, heart, nerves, eyes, or ears. Some people that are hit by lightning may die.

Signs and Symptoms:

The blast of electricity (e-lek-trih-sih-t) may tear your clothing or shoes from your body. You may have burns that cannot be seen at first but show up hours later. You may have broken bones. A very bad lightning injury may cause your heart and breathing to stop.


Call 911 or 0 (operator) for help. A very bad lightning injury is an EMERGENCY. You will need CPR if your heart or breathing have stopped. You will be put in the hospital for more tests and treatment.

Do's and Don'ts:

Stay away from metal things like wire fences and umbrellas during a lightning storm. Also, stay away from metal clotheslines and golf clubs. Do not stand near trees, in a clearing, or on a hilltop during a lightning storm.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.