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 Can parachutes prevent death due to gravitational
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SFN Regular

1383 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  19:34:08  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
The British Medical Journal (2003;327;1459-1461) has an article titled: Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials


Objectives To determine whether parachutes are effective in preventing major trauma related to gravitational challenge.
Design Systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources: Medline,Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases; appropriate internet sites and citation lists.
Study selection: Studies showing the effects of using a parachute during free fall.
Main outcome measure Death or major trauma, defined as an injury severity score > 15.
Results We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention.
Conclusions As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of
interventions evaluated by using only observational data.We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind,
randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.

The article makes for an entertaining read (as it was meant to) but it's a shame that the authors seem to fail to realise that, due to known mechanisms (F=ma to start with [people more versed in physics might want to correct me]), such trials are not necessary.

It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!

SFN Regular

675 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  21:10:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
Yes equations can very well eliminate the need for trials, but trials are more fun. Just look at Myth Busters. Sure they could just ramble about with math and theory but what about the explosions and balistics gel all over the warehouse?!

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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SFN Regular

609 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2007 :  20:32:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
Of course those trials are neccessary. I a really surprised they haven't porked that into a bill here. Thanks for the donation, here's a $1,000,000 for your study, renewable of course....

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