Lung damage from lightning strike injury

Case contributed by Dr Sigmund Stuppner


Young women arrived with helicopter ambulance after a lightning strike injury. Mental confusion, agitation and emotional lability.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years old
Gender: Female

The CT examination shows a pulmonary contusion and hemorrhage in the lingular segments of the left upper lobe and in the adiacent basal anterior segment of the left lower lobe.

There is also a cutaneous burn lesion on the left chest wall, caused by the lightning strike.  We see also single subcutaneous metallic pieces (probably from metal parts of the breast holder).

Case Discussion

Lightning-induced lung damage is rare because of the poor conduction capacity of the air in the lungs.

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Case information

rID: 46676
Published: 16th Jul 2016
Last edited: 18th Jul 2016
System: Trauma, Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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