The Drs: Woman Struck By Lightning + Direct Strike Vs Ground Current

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The Doctors: Woman Struck By Lightning

A woman named Stephanie shared that she and her daughter love thunderstorms and they knew there was a really big storm coming in, but they had no idea how close the lightning really was. She said she and her daughter were outside recording the storm when actual video footage caught her holding her camera up toward the sky when a sudden flash of light and a clap of thunder lit up the screen.

Stephanie explained that she was in pain for about 4-5 seconds, and thought “I think I just got hit by lightning.” She said she felt tingling up and down her arms and has been super forgetful. She hasn’t gone to the doctor, but wanted to know if there’s symptoms of being hit by lightning.

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The Drs: Woman Struck By Lightning + Direct Strike Vs Ground Current

The Doctors talked to a woman who was struck by lightning and then explained the difference between a direct strike and a ground current. (Stephen Cullum / Shutterstock.com)

Stephanie was on the show and shared that she wasn’t certain that she got hit by lightning, but she lit up and it “hurt like hell.” Dr. Drew Ordon said she was very lucky to be sitting there.

The Drs TV: What Happens When Lightning Strikes

Dr. Travis Stork explained that there’s a difference in a direct strike by lightning and a ground current. He explained that when lightning hits your body, you will conduct electricity through your body and then will exit your body furthest from the point where the lightning struck.

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A direct strike is most deadly and Dr. Stork said he didn’t think it happened to Stephanie. He explained that the ground current phenomenon could occur in water as well. During a ground current strike, lightning can hit a conductive surface and then travel and enter up through your shoes or bare feet. Depending on what you’re doing or where you are, the current can travel through your nervous system and even to your heart.

Stephanie shared that for about six hours after, her arms and legs were tingling, and she still has tingling in her left hand. She said she’s been having memory problems, but Dr. Stork a lot of that will heal up over time.

Dr. Stork said he was glad that Stephanie was alive, and said that her symptoms should clear up soon.

 The Doctors: How To Reduce Chance Of Getting Struck By Lightning

The Doctors explained that in order to reduce your chance of getting struck by lightning, when thunder roars, take cover! Go inside! You also want to crouch close to the ground, not lay down fully on a surface. Avoid water, wet items, or electronic equipment. You want to avoid anything that could attract lightning.

If you hear thunder, you’re at risk for a lightning strike.

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