Objective: To report the largest series of lightning-related deaths in Turkey, to review the literature on this subject, and to identify similarities and differences between the autopsy findings in this study and the information available in literature.
Methods: In this study, autopsy reports and crime scene investigation data on 11 lightning-related fatalities that occurred in the Van and Hakkâri Provinces, Turkey, from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015 were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: Of the 1699 fatalities, 11 (2.53%) evaluated by medico-legal autopsy in the Van and Hakkâri Province in a 5-year period died from lightning strikes. Of these cases, 10 (90.1%) were males and 1 (9.9%) was female (p < 0.05). All cases were in the 11 to 33 years age group. All cases were injured outdoors.
Conclusion: We concluded that deaths due to lightning strikes are relatively rare in Turkey, and may be reduced with precautions such as avoiding staying under trees or in the vicinity of high towers, refraining from touching metal objects, avoiding lying on the ground, leaning on walls, and crouching outdoors.