EQUUS - - Eq Tack& Gear -

The most se­ri­ous in­juries from a light­ning strike are brain and nerve dam­age and car­diac ar­rest. About 90 per­cent of peo­ple who are struck sur­vive, but it may take some fast ac­tions to save their lives. If you see some­one get struck by light­ning, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol rec­om­mend tak­ing th­ese ac­tions im­me­di­ately:

1. Call 911. Give the op­er­a­tor as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble about where you are and how re­spon­ders can reach you. Your cell phone is a safer choice than a corded phone.

2. As­sess the sit­u­a­tion. You don’t want to risk your own life if the vic­tim is in a danger­ous area, such as near a tall tree or in an open field—light­ning can and of­ten does strike twice in the same place. If it’s pos­si­ble, move the vic­tim to a safer lo­ca­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the CDC, un­less the per­son fell or was thrown a great dis­tance, it’s rare for some­one who was struck by light­ning to have bro­ken bones, bleed­ing or other in­juries that would cause se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions if the vic­tim were moved.

3. Check for breath­ing and a pulse. The carotid artery, which divides and runs on each side of the trachea, just un­der the jaw­bone, is the eas­i­est place to feel the heart­beat.

4. Re­sus­ci­tate. Begin mouth-to-mouth re­sus­ci­ta­tion if the per­son is not breath­ing as well as car­diac com­pres­sions if you can find no pulse. Con­tinue your ef­forts un­til help ar­rives. It is a myth that a per­son who has just been struck by light­ning still car­ries an elec­tri­cal charge. You can touch a vic­tim safely.

A per­son who re­mains con­scious af­ter a light­ning strike is likely to de­velop mus­cle sore­ness, headaches, dizzi­ness, con­fu­sion and other symptoms. Sur­vivors of­ten ex­pe­ri­ence long-term neu­ral in­jury, with symptoms that can in­clude mem­ory prob­lems, ir­ri­tabil­ity and per­son­al­ity change, chronic headaches, dif­fi­cult sleep­ing, dizzi­ness and bal­ance is­sues, and de­pres­sion.

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