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The Independent Online
British doctors have identified a new burn syndrome caused by lightning, following one of the largest multiple strikes anywhere in the world, which occurred in Kent. An average of between 12 and 20 people are injured by lightning in Britain each year, but 17 were hit by a single lightning bolt as they sheltered under trees at a football match in September 1995.

Doctors at St Andrew's Hospital, Billericay, found that 10 had a distinctive pattern of burns on the soles of their feet and the tips of their toes. Christened the "Tip-Toe" syndrome, Mr Fahmy Saad Fahmy, formerly a registrar in plastic surgery at St Andrews, said the burn patterns suggests that a lightning bolt affects small peripheral nerves and blood vessels. The patients showed a remarkable range of injuries. Lightning strikes have the potential for multi-system injuries, the extent of which had not previously been recognised. But all 17 victims had recovered and the long-term risks to their health were minimal, he added.

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