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Grey's Anatomy

Behind the Medical Jargon: What’s Asystole?

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Lightning strikes can mess you up. Seriously. Brace yourself: we’re going into details here. The nervous system is hardest hit by a strike, resulting in any number of symptoms — everything from change in sleep patterns to change in personality. They also send the victim’s heart into asystole, a state of no cardiac electrical activity, and what our docs are referring to when they yell out, “He’s flatlining!” Rarely, this asystole leads to death from cardiac arrest, which happens when the heart has trouble contracting and thus cannot pump blood around the body. As we saw in the episode, other injuries can include burns (at the exit point or in fern-like patterns around the point of contact), tympanic membrane ruptures (a nicer way of saying blown eardrums), muscle contusions (a fancier way of saying bruises), bone fractures, cataracts, and hearing loss. Like we said before, stay inside during thunderstorms and gaze at your McDreamy shrine.

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10.7.2010 / 12:56 AM EDT by Dan Clarendon
Related: Grey's Anatomy, Recaps

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