Feeds

Warning: mobiles and lightning don't mix

Conversation killer

The Power of One Infographic

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." ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.