Unlike conventional electricity in which the alternating current tends to fix a victim to the current source by tetanic muscle contraction creating a longer contact time, lightning is direct current that imparts an instantaneous but extremely high-voltage discharge of electricity to the body. The pattern of injury seen with lightning differs from that of injury caused by both high-voltage and low-voltage alternating current ( T.a.bl§..,..1..9.7.-..1.). Unlike conventional electricity, lightning current tends to flow over the body in a phenomenon called flashover, thus sparing injury to the deeper vital organs and explaining how victims are able to survive exposure to tremendous magnitudes of current. Less commonly, lightning current may enter victims and suddenly disrupt cardiac, respiratory, or neurologic function.
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