Which of the following cardiac arrhythmias is associated with lightning strikes?
Select Your Answer:
More people are killed each year in the United States by lightning than by any other natural disaster. Lightning injuries are direct current injuries. They differ from alternating current injuries because victims can suffer from a shock-wave phenomenon that may violently throw them and cause multiple traumas.
Therefore, the cervical spine must be protected after a lightning strike. The major cardiac effect is asystole, whereas a high-voltage alternating current injury usually causes ventricular fibrillation. A flashover effect, in which the main current travels peripherally over the victim's body, may also occur. Leaf-like patterns of burned skin result. Wet clothing can cause excessive skin injury.
Treatment should follow advanced cardiac life-support protocol and can be successful if initiated immediately after the injury. Other complications include vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, and ruptured tympanic membranes.
Lightning flashes over the person, producing little internal damage other than electrical short-circuiting of systems such as heart asystole, brain confusion, loss of consciousness, and neuropsychologic sequelae. Cardiopulmonary arrest is the most common cause of death.
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Adult Lab Normals
Pediatric Lab Normals
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