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Emergency Care for People Struck by Lightning in Southern California


Although lightning strikes hit the ground millions of times a day, the chances of being struck by lightning are very low. If lightning does hit you, it sends a massive electrical current through your body. This can cause skin burns, internal organ damage, and cardiac arrest. Being hit by lightning is a medical emergency, even if symptoms are mild. Call 911 and seek emergency care for all cases of lightning injuries. 

Emergency services at Dignity Health Southern California offer critical care for moderate or severe lightning injuries. Our dependable triage team will assess your medical condition and determine the level of care you need.

Symptoms of Being Struck by Lightning

The symptoms can range from temporary hearing loss to severe breathing problems.

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Cardiac arrest or irregular heartbeats
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion, disorientation, and memory problems
  • Loss of consciousness or coma
  • Personality changes
  • Burned skin or clothing
  • Numbness, tingling, pain, weakness or paralysis

Treating Lightning Injuries at Dignity Health Southern California

A lightning strike can cause long-term complications or disability. You may need ongoing supportive care for burns, paralysis, or heart problems. Dignity Health Southern California has a full range of services for lightning strike-related complications, including neurologic and cardiac care.

First Aid for Lightning Strikes & How to Avoid Them

Always call 911 if lightning strikes a person. It’s safe to touch the injured person, so the next step is moving the victim to a safe location away from lightning. If necessary, begin and perform CPR until medical help arrives.

Awareness and lightning safety is the first step in preventing a lightning injury. During a thunderstorm, stay indoors or inside of a closed-top vehicle. If you happen to be in an open area during a lightning storm, crouch close to the ground.

At Dignity Health Southern California, our philosophy of care is rooted in healing. We are dedicated to provide quality treatment in the emergency room and follow-up with compassionate care after a lightning strike. 

Dignity Health provides quick emergency care for people hit by lightning in Southern California.