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Recommendations for lightning protection in sport

Michael Makdissi and Peter Brukner
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (1): 35-37.
Published online: 1 July 2002

Each year many people are killed or injured by lightning due to misinformation and inappropriate behaviour during thunderstorms.1 Analysis of the circumstances surrounding lightning strikes shows that, while there has been a large decrease in the number of lightning casualties in farming and outdoor work, there has been a smaller relative increase in sports-related casualties.2,3 Moreover, with large crowds gathering to participate in or watch an outdoor event, the potential exists for mass casualties to occur from a lightning strike at any one venue. Hence, there is a need to develop specific approaches for lightning safety at sports events.

  • Michael Makdissi1
  • Peter Brukner2

  • Centre for Sports Medicine Research and Education, School of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


Acknowledgements: 

We are indebted to Chris Andrews and Mary Ann Cooper for their inspiration, guidance and generous provision of resources during the writing of this article. We would also like to thank Chris Andrews and David Mackerras for their lightning safety guidelines, Raymond Cripps (Research Centre for Injury Studies, Flinders University of South Australia) for recent information on lightning injuries in Australia, Phil Alford (Bureau of Meteorology, Australia) for his guidance, and the Centre for Sports Medicine Research and Education (University of Melbourne) for their support.

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