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• A bolt of lighting is produced when the charged under surface of a storm cloud discharge its electrical charge to earth . Introduction • Lightning is a form of high voltage current electricity. .

• The amperage of this current is 10.) • The voltage of this current is 100 to 1000 million volts.C. Characteristics of current • This current is direct current (D.000 to 20.000 amp. • A flash of lightening lasts for 1/1000th of a second. .

Direct strike b. Conduction through another object. . • It may injure or kill a person by- a. Side flash c. Effects of Lightning • Seen in an area of 30 meters in diameter.

and probably occurs no more often than 3 to 5% of injuries.  While it is intuitive that direct strike might be the most likely to cause fatalities. Direct Strike  it occurs when the lightning stroke attaches directly to the victim. .

. Contact Injury • It occurs when the person is touching or holding an object to which lightning attaches such as wire fencing or indoor hard wired telephones or plumbing. transmitting the current to the person.

Lightning rod or lightning conductor .

• Side flashes occur when lightning that has hit an object such as a tree or building travels partly down that object before a portion “jumps” to a nearby victim. • It also occurs from person to person. Side Flash or Splash • It is the most frequent cause of injury 30 to 35% . Standing under or close to trees and other tall objects is a very common way in which people are splashed. .

Mechanism of action Injuries result due to- • Electric current • Heat • Expanded and displaced air (blast wave) .

Stripped off and thrown to some distance. • Subarachnoid and intracranial bleeding may occur. • Extensive ecchymoses may be seen on skin of trunk. Burnt or torn at the point of entrance and exit. • Signs of asphyxia are present. d. . Not burnt but the person is killed. Burnt but no injury to the person. Post-mortem Appearances • Clothes may be – a.contusion. • Belts and boots may be ruptured. fractures. • The expanded or displaced air cause disruptive or blast like lesions. lacerations. b. c. • Rigor mortis may appear soon and pass off quickly. etc.

Burns • The burns maybe : • Linear : the are often found in moist creases and folds of the skin . . • Arborescent or Filigree burns: they are superficial thin irregular and tortuous marking on the skin • Surface burns : they are true burns and occur beneath metallic objects worn or carried by the person which are fused by the flash.

Arborescent or filigree burns .

• Multiple rupture of viscera • Charring • Neurogenic shock • Multiple fractures . Cause of death • Involvement of CNS with paralysis of respiratory centre causes death .

. Death is always due to accident.fractures . sometimes appearance left on human body closely resemble those produced by criminal Violence . evidence of effect of the lightning in the vicinity of the body and fusion of metallic substance. Thus a person maybe found dead in an open field or on highway and body may show contusions .. Medico-legal aspect Less than half of person struck by lightning are killed .etc in such cases the diagnosis should be based on the history of a thunderstorm in the locality .