PMID: 9387016Jan 1, 1997Paper

Myocardial injury due to lightning

International Journal of Legal Medicine
F ZackR Wegener


The report deals with a 27-year-old male who was standing in a tent and was injured by lightning as it struck a tree about 1.5 m away. He immediately lost consciousness and exhibited ventricular fibrillation when the emergency physician arrived. A clinical picture of hypoxaemic brain damage emerged after initially successful resuscitation. Brain death was diagnosed on the fifth day after injury. The discrete external findings (remaining arborescent skin marks) contrasted markedly with the severe thermal damage to the pectoral muscle and cardiac musculature found during the autopsy. The histological cardiac findings indicated severe acute myocardial infarction affecting virtually all parts of the myocardium.


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