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became our first national park. Soon more hotels sprung

time:2023-12-03 02:55:58 source:Track and trace network author:person read:580次

There is a curious collection of relics, consisting of the clothes of a man struck by lightning, artistically hung in a glass case in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and the history of the injury, of which these remnants are the result, is given by Professor Stewart, the curator, as follows: At half past four on June 8, 1878, James Orman and others were at work near Snave, in Romney Marsh, about eight miles from Ashford. The men were engaged in lopping willows, when the violence of the rain compelled them to take refuge under a hedge. Three of the men entered a shed near by, but Orman remained by the willow, close to the window of the shed. Scarcely were the three inside when a lightning-stroke entered the door, crossed the shed, and passed out the window, which it blew before it into the field. The men noticed that the tree under which Orman stood was stripped of its bark. Their companion's boots stood close to the foot of the tree, while the man himself lay almost perfectly naked a few yards further on, calling for help. When they left him a few moments previously, he was completely clad in a cotton shirt, cotton jacket, flannel vest, and cotton trousers, secured at the waist with leather straps and buckles. Orman also wore a pair of stout hobnail boots, and had a watch and chain. After the lightning-stroke, however, all he had on him was the left arm of his flannel vest. The field was strewn for some distance with fragments of the unfortunate man's clothing. Orman was thrown down, his eyebrows burned off, and his whiskers and beard much scorched. His chest was covered with superficial burns, and he had sustained a fracture of the leg. His strong boots were torn from his feet, and his watch had a hole burned right through it, as if a soldering iron had been used. The watch-chain was almost completely destroyed, only a few links remaining. Together with some fused coins, these were found close by, and are deposited in a closed box in the Museum. According to Orman's account of the affair, he first felt a violent blow on the chest and shoulders, and then he was involved in a blinding light and hurled into the air. He said he never lost consciousness; but when at the hospital he seemed very deaf and stupid. He was discharged perfectly cured twenty weeks after the occurrence. The scientific explanation of this amazing escape from this most eccentric vagary of the electric fluid is given,--the fact that the wet condition of the man's clothing increased its power of conduction, and in this way saved his life. It is said that the electric current passed down the side of Orman's body, causing everywhere a sudden production of steam, which by its expansion tore the clothing off and hurled it away. It is a curious fact that where the flannel covered the man's skin the burns were merely superficial, whereas in those parts touched by the cotton trousers they were very much deeper. This case is also quoted and described by Dr. Wilks.

became our first national park. Soon more hotels sprung

There was a curious case of lightning-stroke reported at Cole Harbor, Halifax. A diver, while at work far under the surface of the water, was seriously injured by the transmission of a lightning-stroke, which first struck the communicating air pump to which the diver was attached. The man was brought to the surface insensible, but he afterward recovered.

became our first national park. Soon more hotels sprung

Permanent Effect of Lightning on the Nervous System.--MacDonald mentions a woman of seventy-eight who, some forty-two years previous, while ironing a cap with an Italian iron, was stunned by an extremely vivid flash of lightning and fell back unconscious into a chair. On regaining consciousness she found that the cap which she had left on the table, remote from the iron, was reduced to cinders. Her clothes were not burned nor were there any marks on the skin. After the stroke she felt a creeping sensation and numbness, particularly in the arm which was next to the table. She stated positively that in consequence of this feeling she could predict with the greatest certainty when the atmosphere was highly charged with electricity, as the numbness increased on these occasions. The woman averred that shortly before or during a thunder storm she always became nauseated. MacDonald offers as a physiologic explanation of this case that probably the impression produced forty-two years before implicated the right brachial plexus and the afferent branches of the pneumogastric, and to some degree the vomiting center in the medulla; hence, when the atmosphere was highly charged with electricity the structures affected became more readily impressed. Camby relates the case of a neuropathic woman of thirty-eight, two of whose children were killed by lightning in her presence. She herself was unconscious for four days, and when she recovered consciousness, she was found to be hemiplegic and hemianesthetic on the left side. She fully recovered in three weeks. Two years later, during a thunder storm, when there was no evidence of a lightning-stroke, she had a second attack, and three years later a third attack under similar circumstances.

became our first national park. Soon more hotels sprung

There are some ocular injuries from lightning on record. In these cases the lesions have consisted of detachment of the retina, optic atrophy, cataract, hemorrhages into the retina, and rupture of the choroid, paralysis of the oculomotor muscles, and paralysis of the optic nerve. According to Buller of Montreal, such injuries may arise from the mechanic violence sustained by the patient rather than by the thermal or chemic action of the current. Buller describes a case of lightning-stroke in which the external ocular muscles, the crystalline lens, and the optic nerve were involved. Godfrey reports the case of Daniel Brown, a seaman on H.M.S. Cambrian. While at sea on February 21, 1799, he was struck both dumb and blind by a lightning-stroke. There was evidently paralysis of the optic nerve and of the oculomotor muscles; and the muscles of the glottis were also in some manner deprived of motion.

That an amputation can be perfectly performed by a lightning-stroke is exemplified in the case of Sycyanko of Cracow, Poland. The patient was a boy of twelve, whose right knee was ankylosed. While riding in a field in a violent storm, a loud peal of thunder caused the horse to run away, and the child fell stunned to the ground. On coming to his senses the boy found that his right leg was missing, the parts having been divided at the upper end of the tibia. The wound was perfectly round and the patella and femur were intact. There were other signs of burns about the body, but the boy recovered. Some days after the injury the missing leg was found near the place where he was first thrown from the horse.

The therapeutic effect of lightning-stroke is verified by a number of cases, a few of which will be given. Tilesius mentions a peculiar case which was extensively quoted in London. Two brothers, one of whom was deaf, were struck by lightning. It was found that the inner part of the right ear near the tragus and anti-helix of one of the individuals was scratched, and on the following day his hearing returned. Olmstead quotes the history of a man in Carteret County, N.C., who was seized with a paralytic affection of the face and eyes, and was quite unable to close his lids. While in his bedroom, he was struck senseless by lightning, and did not recover until the next day, when it was found that the paralysis had disappeared, and during the fourteen years which he afterward lived his affection never returned. There is a record of a young collier in the north of England who lost his sight by an explosion of gunpowder, utterly destroying the right eye and fracturing the frontal bone. The vision of the left eye was lost without any serious damage to the organ, and this was attributed to shock. On returning from Ettingshall in a severe thunder storm, he remarked to his brother that he had seen light through his spectacles, and had immediately afterward experienced a piercing sensation which had passed through the eye to the back of the head. The pain was brief, and he was then able to see objects distinctly. From this occasion he steadily improved until he was able to walk about without a guide.

Le Conte mentions the case of a negress who was struck by lightning August 19, 1842, on a plantation in Georgia. For years before the reception of the shock her health had been very bad, and she seemed to be suffering from a progressive emaciation and feebleness akin to chlorosis. The difficulty had probably followed a protracted amenorrhea, subsequent to labor and a retained placenta In the course of a week she had recovered from the effects of lightning and soon experienced complete restoration to health; and for two years had been a remarkably healthy and vigorous laborer. Le Conte quotes five similar cases, and mentions one in which a lightning-shock to a woman of twenty-nine produced amenorrhea, whereas she had previously suffered from profuse menstruation, and also mentions another case of a woman of seventy who was struck unconscious; the catamenial discharge which had ceased twenty years before, was now permanently reestablished, and the shrunken mammae again resumed their full contour.

A peculiar feature or superstition as to lightning-stroke is its photographic properties. In this connection Stricker of Frankfort quotes the case of Raspail of a man of twenty-two who, while climbing a tree to a bird's nest, was struck by lightning, and afterward showed upon his breast a picture of the tree, with the nest upon one of its branches. Although in the majority of cases the photographs resembled trees, there was one case in which it resembled a horse-shoe; another, a cow; a third, a piece of furniture; a fourth, the whole surrounding landscape. This theory of lightning-photographs of neighboring objects on the skin has probably arisen from the resemblance of the burns due to the ramifications of the blood-vessels as conductors, or to peculiar electric movements which can be demonstrated by positive charges on lycopodium powder.


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