Feeds

Warning: mobiles and lightning don't mix

Conversation killer

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

UK doctors are advising mobile-addicted Brit youth to lay off the chat during thunderstorms - or risk the consequences.

According to the BBC, the British Medical Journal cites the case of a 15-year-old girl who was struck by lightning in a London park while talking on her phone. She suffered a burst eardrum and cardiac arrest and, a year later, "has severe physical difficulties as well as brain damage which has led to emotional and cognitive problems".

What the kids of today don't understand, apparently, is that when you're struck by lightning, your skin's high resistance will cause most of the charge to pass over the body in a process called "external flashover". If, however, you have metal objects or liquids in contact with the skin, these can provoke the charge to enter and pass through your body where it can wreak havoc with your internals.

The Northwick Park Hospital doctors who treated the unfortunate London victim discovered three fatal cases of mobile phone chat lightning strike - in China, Korea and Malaysia. Swinda Esprit, of the ear, nose and throat department said: "It is obvious really, but we all carry mobile phones and we don't think about it. Children particularly won't realise the risk."

It's not, however, simply a matter of not making calls during tempests. The mere presence of your phone about your person increases the risk of lightning-induced internal injury, as Met Office boffin Paul Taylor noted: "It is well known within the thunderstorm detection community that wearing or carrying metallic objects can increase the likelihood of injury.

"It certainly adds to the intensity of the skin damage and the article certainly amplifies that here. I would treat a mobile phone as yet another piece of metal that people tend to carry on their persons like coins and rings." ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?