Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A random field experiment of parachuting

A good friend sent me this article that calls for proper scientific analysis of the beneficial effects of using parachutes when falling.

Here's the introduction: "The parachute is used in recreational, voluntary sector, and military settings to reduce the risk of orthopaedic, head, and soft tissue injury after gravitational challenge, typically in the context of jumping from an aircraft. The perception that parachutes are a successful intervention is based largely on anecdotal evidence. Observational data have shown that their use is associated with morbidity and mortality, due to both failure of the intervention and iatrogenic complications. In addition, "natural history" studies of free fall indicate that failure to take or deploy a parachute does not inevitably result in an adverse outcome. We therefore undertook a systematic review of randomised controlled trials of parachutes."

Too funny.

Thanks Gary!

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

This is my favorite part:
"Individuals who use parachutes are likely to have less psychiatric morbidity and may also differ in key demographic factors, such as income and cigarette use. It follows, therefore, that the apparent protective effect of parachutes may be merely an example of the "healthy cohort" effect. "