ePlasty: Vol. 8
Cutaneous Manifestations of Lightning Injury: A Case Report
M. E. Asuquo, MBBS, FWACS, FICS, I. A. Ikpeme, MBBS, FWACS, FICS, and I. Abang, MBBCH

Department of Surgery, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence: mauefas@yahoo.com

Background: Lightning injuries are relatively uncommon and have been a subject of awe since primitive times. It most significantly affects the cardiorespiratory, nervous, and integumentary systems. Surprisingly, cutaneous burn injuries caused by lightning are usually superficial. Objective: To present the cutaneous manifestations of lightning injuries and the sequelae of improper management. Case report: A 22-year-old woman presented with cutaneous manifestations of lightning-induced burns and bilateral upper limb gangrene after 2 months of improper treatment. She refused amputation after counseling and left the hospital. Conclusion: This is a rare case of burns with cutaneous manifestations peculiar to lightning injury. These features serve as evidence of lightning injury, when in doubt, especially in societies where superstition is rife. Education concerning the nature of lightning and proper management would improve outcome.

Injuries from man-made, generated, or technical electricity have been reported for only about 150 years, but injuries from lightning surely predate written records. Over the centuries, superstitions and myths a .......