What is lightning and how it works?
Lightning is a discharge of static electricity that is caused when an imbalance occurs in the electrically charged regions between a cloud and the earth. It happens during storm when clouds are formed from the accumulated moisture. The air gets cool, the ice particles are formed and a static electric charge is built up. This electric charge gets separated in the clouds and as a result, the positively charged particles move to the top and the negatively charged particles drop to the bottom. When lightning occurs, the negatively charged particles of the electric charge get attracted towards the positively charged objects on the earth. These objects can be the buildings, trees and sometimes, the people. These particles strike the object with tremendous energy and heat.
How lightning leads to injuries?
There are different ways by which the lightning can affect the target person:
• Direct strike: It occurs to the person who is holding a metal object. The object can be an umbrella and a hairpin.
• Flash Discharge: It occurs when a person is much closer to the object that has been struck by the lightning. It happens due to the contact with the lightning current.
• Flashover: It happens when lightning passes along the boundary of the object. Injury caused in this case is less as compared to other ones.
• Contact: It happens if an individual touches an object that has been struck by the lightning.
What actually the lightning injury look like?
Many of you will be surprised to know that the Licthenberg figures are developed across the affected skin when a person got struck by lightning. Let us tell you that Litchenberg figures are the branching like patterns that are created when the electrical discharges of high voltage pass either through the insulating materials or along the surface. In humans, these figures are created because the electrical discharges from the lightning pass along the skin and this causes a rupture of capillaries However, the marks on the skin do no appear simultaneously after the attack; in most of they cases they are seen hours later. And they can last for months depending on the extent of the injury. The medical term that is used for these marks is Keraunographic or Erythema markings. No doubt the marks look beautiful, but they are much painful in the case blisters also occur along with them. In addition to the Litchenberg marks, there are many injuries that are caused due to lightning. These include muscle injuries, eye injuries, blunt trauma, neurological syndromes and skin burns.