Behavioral Consequences of Lightning and Electrical Injury

Jacksonville College, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Seminars in Neurology (Impact Factor: 1.79). 10/1995; 15(3):279-85. DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1041033
Source: PubMed
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    • "Misconceptions such as ''If you're not killed by lighting, you'll be OK,'' and ''If there are no outward signs of lightning injury, the damage can't be serious'' [9] can lead to unnecessary, tragic consequences. There is an increasing body of evidence demonstrating a myriad of long-term debilitating consequences such as peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain syndromes, and neuropsychological symptoms caused by nonfatal lightning strikes [14] [15] [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lightning is persistently one of the leading causes of death caused by environmental or natural disaster. To understand the pathophysiology and treatment of lightning injuries one must first discount the innumerable myths, superstitions, and misconceptions surrounding lightning. The fundamental difference between high voltage electrical injury and lightning is the duration of exposure to current. Reverse triage should be instituted in lightning strike victims because victims in cardiopulmonary arrest might gain the greatest benefit from resuscitation efforts, although there is no good evidence suggesting that lightning strike victims might benefit from longer than usual resuscitation times. Many of the injuries suffered by lightning strike victims are unique to lightning, and long-term sequelae should be anticipated and addressed in the lightning victim.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2004 · Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
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    • "The web-based survey was designed in which respondents were posed questions about demographics; information about electrical contact; pre-existing conditions (population baseline); and symptoms present greater than 6 months post electrical contact. The list of symptoms and diagnoses utilized in the study were developed based on extensive review of the literature [4] [5] [6] [8] [9] and review of over 50 medical and neuropsychological electrical injury case files. Each symptom was categorized as either systemic, path localized, or neuropsychological. "
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse electrical injury (DEI) is a rarely occurring class of electrical injury that can arise even after a low voltage contact. It is characterized by broad symptomatology which is often disproportionate to the magnitude of the contact. The occurrence rate of 65 symptoms, categorized by gender, was studied. Data was derived from a Web-based interactive survey of individuals who suffered low voltage (<1000 volts) contacts and were more than six months post incident. Statistically significant differences (based on a Chi Squared test) among gender were noted for unexplained moodiness and short-term memory loss. For the majority of symptoms, no significant difference between the groups was revealed (P<0.05). Results suggest that although male and female DEI patients present with a similar symptom profile, DEI may present with certain differences in men compared to women.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2004 · Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference
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    • "Interestingly, the results of lightning injuries are basically similar to those of ECT and other forms of electrical injury to the head [146]. Obvious impairments of language or consciousness are rare, but " impairments of attention, concentration, verbal memory, and new learning are very frequently identified " (p. "
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    ABSTRACT: Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) is increasingly used in North America and there are attempts to promote its further use world-wide. However, most controlled studies of efficacy in depression indicate that the treatment is no better than placebo with no positive effect on the rate of suicide. ECT is closed-head electrical injury, typically producing a delirium with global mental dysfunction (an acute organic brain syndrome). Significant irreversible effects from ECT are demonstrated by many studies, including: (1) Inventories of autobio- graphic and current events memories before and after ECT; (2) Retrospective subjective observations on memory; (3) Autopsy studies of animals and some of humans. ECT causes severe and irreversible brain neuropathology, including cell death. It can wipe out vast amounts of retrograde memory while producing permanent cognitive dysfunction. Contemporary ECT is more dangerous since the current doses are larger than those employed in earlier clinical and research studies. Elderly women, an especially vulnerable group, are becoming the most common target of ECT. Because of the lopsided risk/benefit ratio, because it is fundamentally traumatic in nature, because so many of the patients are vulnerable and unable to protect themselves, and because advocates of ECT fail to provide informed consent to patients - ECT should be banned.
    Preview · Article · Jan 1998 · The International journal of risk & safety in medicine
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