The New England Journal of Medicine has reported an incidence of a 37-year old man who was struck by lightning while jogging in a thunderstorm and listening to an iPod. The authors warn that although lightning can strike a person directly, a phenomenon known as side flash — which affected this man — is much more common. In instances of side flash, lightning strikes a nearby object, then jumps to a person. The high resistance of the skin generally means that lightning is conducted over the outside of the body in these instances. Because the man was sweaty, however, and the metal wires of his iPod were running into his ears, the flashover was disrupted, and the current was directed into and through the his head. His tympanic membranes were perforated, among other injuries.Previously this summer on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we posted an article related to lightning safety.
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