If a person is struck by lightning, this has serious health consequences. In some cases, electric shock can also result in death.

According to the pharmaceutical company MSD, around 10 percent of people who are struck by lightning die. Lightning can strike a person directly or strike a nearby object, causing injury.

When lightning strikes a person, the heart can stop beating. The strong electrical shock occurs in a fraction of a millisecond and causes a kind of short circuit in the heart muscle. In some cases this leads directly to death.

In other affected people, the heart begins to beat again on its own. However, injuries caused by a lightning strike that result in death often do not progress properly. This leads to respiratory failure, which can cause the person struck by lightning to suffocate.

The vast majority of those affected survive a lightning strike, but with health consequences and often permanent damage.