Dr. Troy Madsen talks about some of the serious negative effects lightning can have internally on your body that you may not see.">

Oct 27, 2017 — Lightning strikes are extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. Nine out of every 10 people struck by lightning usually survive but may live with varying degrees of disability. On today's Health Minute, emergency physician Dr. Troy Madsen talks about some of the serious negative effects lightning can have internally on your body that you may not see.

Interview

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: You're out with somebody, and they get struck by lightning. Dr. Troy Madsen's an emergency room physician. What should you do if that happens?

Dr. Madsen: So if someone you're with gets struck by lightning, first of all, if they're not responding to you, they don't have a pulse, do CPR. Call 911. Get help there. There's a good chance they're going to be able to save this person. But there are cases of lightning strikes where you are responding, and you feel a shock, but you still feel okay. And you may think to yourself, "I can keep going. I can keep hiking." You definitely need to get medical attention. So in that situation I'd say get to the ER.

The big concern is an abnormal heart rhythm. The heart can go into fatal rhythms after a lightning strike, also a muscle breakdown. So in the ER we're going to check for abnormal heart rhythms. We're going to check for muscle breakdown, check your kidney function, and make sure everything's okay.

Announcer: To find out more about this and other health and wellness topics, visit thescoperadio.com.


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