Cardiac Arrest Secondary to Lightning Strike: Case Report and Review of the Literature

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Abstract

Lightning strike injuries, although less common than electrical injuries, have a higher morbidity rate because of critical alterations of the circulatory system, respiratory system, and central nervous system. Most lightning-related deaths occur immediately after injury because of arrhythmia or respiratory failure. We describe the case of a pediatric patient who experienced cardiorespiratory arrest secondary to a lightning strike, where the Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Basic Life Support chain of survival was well executed, leading to return of spontaneous circulation and intact neurological survival. We review the pathophysiology of lightning injuries, prognostic factors of favorable outcome after cardiac arrest, including bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, shockable rhythm, and automatic external defibrillator use, and the importance of temperature management after cardiac arrest.

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