First Aid for Lightning Strikes: Step-by-Step Actions
Surprisingly, most people who know the dangers of electric current do not take lightning seriously as a source of danger. But in fact it is the same current of very high voltage. First aid in case of lightning is not useless information. On the contrary, its knowledge can save a persons life.
Symptoms of a lightning strike
The temperature of a lightning discharge can reach 300,000 degrees. When it strikes a person, it can kill him or injure him severely. Often the victim falls into unconsciousness, which can last up to several days. Statistics say that the vast majority of lightning strikes are male.
In the best case scenario, the victim experiences the following symptoms:
- Loss of balance and coordination;
- Darkening or blurring of the eyes;
- Decreased sensitivity of hearing;
- Suddenly occurring acute headache.
Such damage can be hoped for when the lightning voltage is not too high. But if the discharge is not small at all, the signs of a strike are much more serious.
- Loss of consciousness;
- Decreased sensitivity of the limbs, up to and including paralysis;
- Complete hearing loss;
- Skin burns;
- Skin discoloration;
- Disruption of internal organs, especially the heart;
The victim may be disturbed by neurological problems in the form of sleep disturbances, increased feelings of anxiety and tension. If problems with motor function of the extremities are observed, they usually recover within a few hours. Signs in the form of spotting, decreased sensitivity of vision or hearing, take several days to several months to normalize. Blotchiness means that a branching pattern resembling lightning can be observed on the skin of the victim. It is formed by the capillaries expanding sharply during the impact.
The most dangerous symptoms in this case are:
- Stopping the heartbeat;
- Respiratory arrest;
- Loss of pulse.
- It is these causes that lead to the death of a person. First aid for a lightning strike, if begun immediately, can in some cases resuscitate the victim.
First aid in case of a lightning strike
The first aid in case a person is struck by lightning is carried out depending on his condition. But the general requirements are to call an ambulance and stay calm. And in no case should you resort to unproven folk methods.
While the medical team is en route, it is worth beginning the first steps. If the victim is conscious and not life-threatening, the following measures may be sufficient:
- Move it to the shelter;
- Change clothes and lay down in a comfortable position, covered with a warm blanket;
- Try to calm him down;
- Give him 30 drops of Corvalol to drink. Tincture of valerian is also good;
- If there are burns on the body, it is necessary to treat them with antiseptic and apply a bandage.
- For more serious injuries, emergency care must be started very urgently. It is good if someone else can call a medical team, as every minute can be crucial
First of all, a person who is in a serious condition after a lightning strike or has lost consciousness altogether should try to feel for a pulse on the carotid artery. If it is absent or very weak, then it is time to start resuscitation. They consist of providing indirect heart massage and artificial respiration. Before this be sure to put the victim on a flat surface and give him a supply of fresh air, undoing all the buttons and belts, if available. For one person resuscitation is carried out according to the scheme: 5 pressures for 1 breath. If it is possible to provide first aid to two people at once, the proportions are changed by 15 to 2.
Consequences of a lightning strike
Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of people who are struck by lightning get away with mild shock and fright. The vast majority of victims suffer significant damage to their health, and some even die.
Since the impact can affect the brain injury, often the consequences are:
- Memory loss;
- Mental degradation;
- Stuttering and speech disorders;
- Development of cataracts and retinal detachment;
- As you can see, the prognosis in this case is not the most comforting, so you should seriously think about precautions.
Medical care for a lightning strike will not be necessary if you try to prevent the fact itself.
The first thing to understand is the importance of shelter if lightning catches you out in the open. If you hear thunder immediately after the flash, it means that the lightning cloud is in the position where it poses the greatest danger. If it is not possible to find shelter in a nearby radius, you should do the following:
Get rid of all items made of metal, and do not use cell phones;
Lie down or sit on the ground with your head at your feet;
Avoid alone, tall objects such as trees or poles. Also, do not be in a body of water at this time.
There are also nuances to being in a sheltered environment. It is recommended to avoid contact with water pipes, to stay away from window and doorways, and not to use electrical appliances.