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Medicas UIS

Print version ISSN 0121-0319


JIMENEZ-LOPEZ, Román et al. Incidental maternal death due to lightning injury: a case report. Medicas UIS [online]. 2019, vol.32, n.1, pp.21-26.  Epub Oct 28, 2019. ISSN 0121-0319.

Lightning occurs with a frequency rate of more than 50 times per second worldwide. Nevertheless, direct lightning strikes are not common, and they are responsible for about 5% of all lightning injury fatalities. The initial mechanism of injury is the paralysis of the vital centers, which causes apnea, atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrest. In pregnant women, lightning can produce severe complications which depend on the point of entrance and its indirect effect on the fetus, affecting the cardiac conduction system and the central nervous system. We report a case of a lightning accident by direct strike on a 23-week pregnant woman, who's type of injury was by direct contact on the abdomen. She arrives to the emergency room with neurologic symptoms, maternal tachycardia and fetal bradycardia. The mother died due to myocardial infarction and the presence of an intracavitary embolus in the left ventricle, with the consequent maternal-fetal death. The incidence and injury mechanisms, as well as the clinical features and clinical management are described. MÉD.UIS.2019;32(1):21-6.

Keywords : Lightning; Lightning strike; Fetal death; Maternal death.

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