Lightning Strike Overview
Lightning strikes are weather-related medical emergencies. Lightning is consistently among the top five weather-related killers. In typical years past, lightning killed more people in the United States than any other natural disaster (with the exception of flash floods), including tornadoes, up to about 3000 deaths per year. However, such deaths have decreased; in 2011, lightning-related deaths were low (26) and topped by tornadoes, heat, floods and rip currents.There are 4 to 5 times as many people injured from lightning as the number of deaths..
Most people killed or injured by lightning are outside doing recreational activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, or playing sports. Others are working outdoors at construction jobs. Farmers are often struck, too.
Lightning Strike Causes
Injury from a lightning strike may occur in any of these ways:
Timothy Price, MD
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Over the last century, records for environmental injuries and mortality indicate that lightning has consistently been one of the top 3 environment-related causes of death and the second most common storm-related cause of death, exceeded only by flash floods.