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.


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.


  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


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


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