Parachutes: no significant effect on death reduction or major injury

Fig. 1: Successful parachute gliders

I have often wondered why there are life jackets on board, especially when flying e.g. inside Europe. There are not that many oceans and lakes to land on – and I am confident that I could swim across a typical European river.

Have you thought the same? Well – here is the answer: We don’t get parachutes, because it is unclear whether they would save lives. In a randomised control trial, Robert Yeh et al. investigated the effectiveness of parachutes to prevent death when jumping from a plane.

Parachute use did not significantly reduce death or major injury (0% for parachute 0% for control; P>0.9). This finding was consistent across multiple subgroups. Compared with individuals screened but not enrolled, participants included in the study were on aircraft at significantly lower altitude (mean of 0.6 m for participants mean of 9146 m for non- participants; P<0.001) and lower velocity (mean of 0 km/h mean of 800 km/h; P<0.001).

Yeah et al.

The article is available online available under an open access policy.
See details: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k5094

Thanks to Pedro Teixeira for making me aware of it.

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