Ripcord client is struck by lightning on Nepal trek. Redpoint evacuates her via helicopter

Posted on Posted in Medical Evacuation

Lightning bolt travels through hiking poles

A Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance client was struck by lightning while trekking near Makalu, Nepal, triggering a helicopter medical rescue to a hospital in Kathmandu.

During an electrical storm, the client’s traveling group saw a bolt of lightning strike her near the right shoulder, and apparently travel through her metal hiking poles into the ground. She felt a burning sensation in her hands, had difficulty breathing, and complained of headaches for the hours following the strike.

The group called Redpoint Resolutions for help. Redpoint sent a helicopter to a landing zone in Makalu and evacuated her to a clinic in the capital for treatment. There, doctors saw that she had been spared the worst possible outcomes of a lightning strike – possibly due the conductivity of her hiking poles. There were no serious burns on her hands and none of the feared cardiac damage following such an event. However, doctors found that she was suffering from Acute Mountain Sickness and a potential lung infection.

She was transferred to a separate hospital in Kathmandu more specialized in pulmonary care but was discharged overnight. She was then met in Kathmandu by her husband, a physician himself, and the two returned home to Boston.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines the best medevac and rescue insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Ripcord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.