Using mobile phones out-doors during stormy weather poses risks, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has quoted doctors as warning.
The three doctors described the case of a 15-year old girl who was witnessed being struck by lighting while using her mobile phone in a large park in London during stormy weather. She was successfully resuscitated, but one year later, she suffered complex physical, cognitive and emotional problems.
“If someone is struck by lightning, the high resistance of human skin results in lightning being conducted over the skin without entering the body,” explain the authors. This is known as flashover and has a low death rate.
Conductive materials such as liquids or metallic objects disrupt the flashover and result in internal injury with greater death rates, they said.
According to the journal, no similar cases have been reported in the medical literature. It said all three cases which were reported in newspapers in China, Korea, and Malaysia resulted in death.
“This rare phenomenon is a public health issue, and education is necessary to highlight the risk of using mobile phones outdoors during stormy weather to prevent future fatal consequences from lightning-strike injuries related to mobile phones,” it said.