# Lightning strikes through human body

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hovik, Nov 30, 2009.

1. ### hovik Thread Starter New Member

Sep 21, 2009
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I realize this is a little off the electronics theme, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Do anyone know if the organs of the body, except for the heart can survive a 10 000 A current trough them? The heart will stop if a current of 7mA is applied to it for 3 seconds, so the heart would obviously not survive any current close to that. But is it possible for the rest of the organs to survive that kind of current?

2. ### beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
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You're quite correct, this has nothing to do with electronics.

I hope you're not looking for people with personal experience?

Just to let you sort of answer your own question - power dissipated in a load (an organ, in this case) is given by multiplying the square of the current passing through it and the resistance of the load (organ). Pick any value from 10 ohms down to .001 ohms and see what the power works out to be. Sounds more like crispy critter time.

3. ### t06afre AAC Fanatic!

May 11, 2009
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I think a direct hit is equal to meet one's death. But You may only be temporally knocked out if the lightning strikes in some distance from you

4. ### hovik Thread Starter New Member

Sep 21, 2009
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I agree, I think that people that think they have been hit by lightning have just experienced the potential differences in the earth because they have been really close to the lightning.
But the definition of being hit by lightning is a direct hit, right? Not experiences because of potential differences caused by lightning hits elsewhere?

5. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
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2,536
Lightning is deadly, no doubt. But voltages that high tend to flow outside the body, not through.

People have survived direct lightning hits though, and generally have lots of bizarre damage on their bodies as a result. Metal studs from their shoes burned into their flesh, clothing blown off, that sort of thing. From the stories and shows on TV all of them suffer perminant damage to their nervous system. They mourn the loss of the people they were.

A lot of them are near misses, I remember seeing a soccer games where 5 or so players were knocked unconscious because a bolt hit the field, to that can be bad too. A lot of near misses also suffer the neural damage.

There are also cases where people taking a shower or using a phone gets a jolt, since lightning will take other paths.

I remember a friend telling me about an antenna line (he was a HAM) arcing to a gas pipe going to ground. Don't think his radio survived that one. He was in no hurry to get near the arrangement since the damage was done.

Damage from lightning, like tornadoes, is chaotic and unpredictable. Most times you die, sometimes you don't.

Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
6. ### gerty AAC Fanatic!

Aug 30, 2007
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When I was a teenager a friend of mines 12 year old sister was struck on the top of her head by lightning. To this day (40 years later) hair will not grow on the top of her head. She was otherwise not injured seriously.

7. ### ELECTRONERD Senior Member

May 26, 2009
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That incident is quite strange. It is notably interesting that there are still multifarious effects unknown to us and also the fact that we can't comprehend some of them. Electricity is still a mysterious concept today, even despite our vast progression in the field as well as electronics.

Austin

8. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,766
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Actually, not. You don't design modern computers and other appliances without a comprehensive knowledge base. This is the argument a lot of the HHO guys (and others)use to justify their obsession (such as the variation, science doesn't know everything!). There are fields where we have a lot of work to do, but they are pretty specific. To make a generalization about electricity doesn't fly well.

Chaotic is just that, it is unpredictable. Something that goes one way one time may go down differently another.

I'm not saying we don't have a lot of research to do, but don't ignore that which has already been done. It's pretty extensive.

9. ### ELECTRONERD Senior Member

May 26, 2009
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Yes, you are right Bill. We've made significant progress in electronics and electricity, but I'm only saying that there are "some" effects that we don't understand - not "many" effects. I think this trends more towards electricity than electronics.

Austin

10. ### loosewire AAC Fanatic!

Apr 25, 2008
1,584
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I think survival stats help developed the heart paddle devices
which would be electonics. Also pace makers,electronic heart
medicine have saved many lives,remember you would be lucky
to have some one around that knows your heart can be started
after lightning strike. Trigger devises save lives as medical montiors.

Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
11. ### hovik Thread Starter New Member

Sep 21, 2009
16
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The people that survive direct lightning strikes can't have gotten the current through their heart and body though. (?) I agree that one can survive lightning strike if the lightning takes a path outside of your body because you're very wet outside and the resistance is lower... But I can't understand that it would be possible to start a heart after 10 000 Amps have run trough it... It would probably be possible to start a heart that stopped because of current run trough it due to potential difference between the persons feet etc because of standing close to a lightning strike.

12. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
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It has nothing to do with wetness, it is a characteristic of high voltage, and is pretty consistent.

13. ### CON_ENG Member

Jul 2, 2008
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the current it self had a different effects on human body for example if the current is to applied directly to the myocardiaum (heart) current of 10 microamphere can kill if it's applied to the surface of human body current greater than 100 microamphere can cause macroshock the resistane of the skin and th spaital distribution of the current throughout the body can reduce these effects you can image the peak value of the lightning current how it reach ? thousands of KA .lightning is a serious and destructive natural phenomenon. my graduation project is about protection against lightning strokes in solar cell system regards

14. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
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I protected an antenna setup on top of a hill by using lead car battery brad cables routing around the rotor (used to change direction of the antenna) using constriction clamps. I had 3 of them. The base of the antenna had a spike driven around 4 feet into the ground, and the 300+ ft of the antenna cable had inline amps every 100 feet.

I don't think it would have protected against a megastrike, but this set got hit several times every storm. When we inspected it we noticed a slight oxide coating on the lead cable, but that was it. Only lasted 6 months, someone robbed the trailer and used the coax as rope (ouch).

15. ### beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
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I had a friend with a 20 meter quad bay antenna array on a Rohm tower and a rotor. He pulled the UHF connector off his rig when a thunderstorm passed. A bolt nailed the tower. The rotor was welded, one antenna bay was partly melted, and the coax led in enough power to make a 4" crater in the concrete floor it was laying on. Think it blinked the lights, too.

16. ### maxpower097 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2009
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My uncle has been hit 3 times in his life. We live in Tampa, the lightning capitol of the world so people get hit here all the time. 90% of the time they are just stunned and fine with in an hour. My Uncle has always been a little slow so I really couldn't gauge if he was really effected by it, but when it starts cracking outside he's the first one running outside in the street with a huge metal umbrella. So take that for what its worth.

17. ### CON_ENG Member

Jul 2, 2008
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please , can you give me some explantion about the metal umbrella which he holding under lightning. how it can protect him i can't image .i didn't hear or see something like that you know my country (Egypt) is quite safe from lightning strokes so i didn't here about that .
Regards

18. ### maxpower097 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2009
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388
It rains here a lot. And when we would drive up to his house and it would be lightning all over the place. He would just walk out to the car with an old umbrella and try to help everyone in the car get to the house without getting wet. We would just lock the doors and tell him to go away, we wouldn't dare stand next to him in a storm so it kinda became a family joke.