Parachute Research Paper

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However, participants were less likely to be on a jetliner, and instead were on a biplane or helicopter (0% v 100%; P<0.001), were at a lower mean altitude (0.6 m, SD 0.1 v 9146 m, SD 2164; P<0.001), and were traveling at a slower velocity (0 km/h, SD 0 v 800 km/h, SD 124; P<0.001).” Yes, I know.

Laughing at a statistical satire is incredibly nerdy. In any event, there are indeed lessons to be learned from this.

’s free newsletters."data-newsletterpromo-image="https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/458BF87F-514B-44EE-B87F5D531772CF83_source.png"data-newsletterpromo-button-text="Sign Up"data-newsletterpromo-button-link="https:// origincode=2018_sciam_Article Promo_Newsletter Sign Up"name="article Body" itemprop="article Body"The randomized controlled trial (RCT) is often called the “gold standard of evidence” in medical research involving humans.

In such an experiment, a random sorting leads to only some subjects getting the real intervention being tested. James Lind, surgeon on the HMS , staked out his place in history by giving some scurvy patients citrus fruits. Then all the sailors got citrus, as it became obvious that scurvy was preventable through the inclusion in the diet of vitamin C via consumption of oranges, lemons and—of key importance to etymologists—limes, which led to all British sailors, and then all Brits in general, to become known as Limeys.

“We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention,” the authors admitted.

They explained further: “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.Th article has received a far share of media attention, both mainstream and social.In case you haven’t seen any of the coverage, the study tested “if using a parachute prevents death or major traumatic injury when jumping from an aircraft.” The study compared “(j)umping from an aircraft (airplane or helicopter) with a parachute versus an empty backpack.” Setup as a rigorous, methodologically unassailable RCT, the researchers concluded “(p)arachute use did not reduce death or major traumatic injury when jumping from aircraft in the first randomized evaluation of this intervention.”What!?!? Well, as they report, they were “only able to enroll participants on small stationary aircraft on the ground.” Although they tried to recruit participants both during commercial flights and on the ground, saying they would be randomized to either a parachute or an empty backpack before they jumped from the plane, they were only able to recruit subjects when on the ground.By choosing “I agree” below, you agree that NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic.This information is shared with social media services, sponsorship, analytics and other third-party service providers. Jumping to Discussion and  Conclusion sections can lead you to jump to dangerous conclusions.But the real bottom line lesson is that EBTs need lots more building blocks in addition to RCTs.Sometimes they're just exercises in methodological precision with little or no clinical value; sometimes an RCT can even be absurd.At least that's a lesson from the hilarious satire “Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial” just published in the prestigious BMJ (British Medical Journal).Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. joined with skydivers to publish “Parachute Use to Prevent Death and Major Trauma When Jumping from Aircraft: Randomized Controlled Trial.” The team enlisted and randomized 23 volunteers.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.” Which brings us to the Christmas issue of the , always stocked with unconventional scholarship. Twelve participants wore parachutes while the other 11 donned backpacks that contained no parachutes. The jumpers were assessed shortly after hitting the ground for death or major trauma, and most were reevaluated 30 days later.

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