When Lightning Strikes - What to do if someone is struck by lightning

Common injuries from being struck by lightning can be:

  • nerve and muscle paralysis,
  • impaired eyesight and hearing,
  • raised blood pressure.

If unconscious and convulsing, the victim might be in a cardiac arrest.

  • Gasping breath,
  • lack of a pulse and
  • dilated pupils

… are further signs of a cardiac arrest.

Quick action can save lives.

FIRST THING TO DO …

Emergency 999

NOTE!  Immediately call your local emergency number and start to give first aid.  Please be aware that your local emergency call number may differ.

 SECONDLY …

  1. Try to calm the lightning victim if he/she is conscious.
  2. Softly talk to the victim until help arrives.
  3. If the victim is unconscious, put him/her in the recovery position.
  4. Check the victim's pulse and breathing.
  5. If the lightning victim has no pulse or heartbeat, lay him/her on his/her back and (if appropriate) begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (heart massage and resuscitation)*.
  6. Do not stop until the victim starts to move, his/her chest begins to rise and fall or help arrives to take over.

*It is advisable to get First Aid training.

Lightning strike First Aid

Recovery Position  

Heart Massage

Resuscitation

 Reference:  DEHN + SOHNE (2012) “When Lightning Strikes, What to do during a Thunderstorm”

 

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