What happens when you get struck by lightning

KUSA - Colorado is one of the top states in the country for lightning strikes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If one of those strikes hits a person, the effects are dangerously unpredictable.

9Health Reporter Dr. John Torres says the effects of a lightning strike can vary from minor burns to death.

“Lightning is strange in the fact that we never know exactly what’s going to happen when somebody gets hit by it,” Dr. Torres said. “It can pass through their body and just cause some light burning…it can go through the body and cause some muscle damage and nerve damage, which is a bigger deal. The biggest issue – it can stop their heart. Once the heart stops, the oxygen stops going to the brain and that can cause death.”

If a storm hits when you're outside, the best thing to do is get indoors as soon as possible.

Lightning is attracted to taller objects, so hiding under a tree or near large rocks is not recommended.

QUIZ: How much do you know about lightning safety?

"It can come from out of the air, it can hit the ground and crawl up from the ground through your body, there’s numerous ways it can happen, but the main point is you want to avoid it at all costs," he said. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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