Study 'Proves' Parachutes Don't Save People Who... - Thyroid UK

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Study 'Proves' Parachutes Don't Save People Who Fall Out of Airplanes

helvella profile image

What? Goodness me, helvella, have you completely lost it? What on earth has this to do with thyroid issues.

"Read on, Macduff” - to double-misquote Shakespeare.

Study 'Proves' Parachutes Don't Save People Who Fall Out of Airplanes

You might think that it's safer to jump out of an airplane with a parachute than without one. But, according to science, you'd be wrong.

The finding is detailed Thursday (Dec. 13) in the journal The BMJ's Christmas issue, which features research that is more lighthearted than the journal's usual fare. For the study, the researchers tested the effectiveness of parachutes on 23 people falling out of airplanes. They equipped half of the participants with parachutes, and had the other half jump out of the planes with empty North Face backpacks strapped to their backs.They found that the parachutes made no difference on whether the participants in the study lived or died.

(Blatantly stolen from fbirder over on PAS.)

21 Replies
shaws profile image

Who thinks up these statistics? I'm sure none of us would have thought that parachutes may not function. This is from the following link:-

"The sport of skydiving continues to improve its safety record. In 2010, USPA recorded only 21 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S., indicating that the sport continues to become safer. In the 1970s, the sport averaged 42.5 skydiving fatalities per year. Since then, the average has dropped each decade. In the 1980s, the average was 34.1; in the 1990s, the average was 32.3, and in the first decade of the new millennium (2000-2009), the average dropped again to 25.8. With 21 fatalities in 2010, the annual average continues its decline"

in reply to shaws

So 42.5, or34.1, or 32.3 or 25.8 people died in different years?

What happened to the 0.5, 0.1, 0.3 and 0.8 of a person who survived each year?

Couldn't resist! :-D

SlowDragon profile image

Wonderful......statistics and test parameters can be adjusted to give any result they wish .....

If you jump two feet out of a non-flying's not surprising it made no difference. None of them died.

If you only give tiny 5mcg dose of T3, don't treat vitamin deficiencies first and only provide T3 for few weeks.... patient's blood tests or QOL won't look any better either!

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to SlowDragon

You have hit the 'nail on the head' SlowDragon. Be very mean when prescribing for patients to keep 'TSH' in range. Never test FT4 and FT3 and if still complaining prescribe Anti-d's or pain relief, or sleeping pils - anything but an option to levo.

Should have been in the Journal for Ignobel Research

And as there were 23 participants, how did they manage to divide them into half with parachutes and the other half with empty backpacks ......

But yes, it's a serious point well made.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to MaisieGray

The miracle is that they didn't use an animal model.

Maybe a pigeon, or a sparrow, or even a goose. :-)

MaisieGray profile image
MaisieGray in reply to helvella

Ah, that's stage II of the study ;-)

Excellent, thank you, I'm sending it to a few friends! Going off at a tangent about this, I took gliding lessons for a while, asked one day where the parachute was and how quickly I could put it on if necessary - queue huge mirth from all around me ;)

This is a wonderfully funny thread. I enjoyed and needed the humor. One question that popped up in my crazy mind is how large was the grant these people received for their research?

Reminded me of a joke I once heard! Light aircraft developed engine trouble and said to his passengers, the President of the US, a young school boy, he thought they were going to crash it he was sorry they only have two parachutes.

So the US President said he should take one as he had a country to run. So he bailed out! The pilot said to the lad, you takecthe other as you have your all life in front of you. The lad said, it's ok we can both bail out. Zoe the pilot said we only had two parachutes, the US President has taken one. The boy started laughing and said no he hasn't That VIP so important as he runs the country took my satchel!

No names, no pack drill.

in reply to silverfox7

LOVE it. I'm going to stick my neck out here and share a funny email I got recently. Don't want to offend but I LMAO when I got this. Heaven knows it's dismal here across the pond right now and we need all the humor we can get:

Here goes: "My little brother swallowed all the Scrabble tiles and now his poop makes more sense than Trump's tweets. "

Sorry. Couldn't resist. irina (US)

silverfox7 profile image
silverfox7 in reply to

Ha ha!

Hahahaha thanks for posting helvellA

Very apt article in today's times.

I think the biggest myth is we believe 'scientific research' to be infallible and verified - similarly to pharmaceutical checking and regulation.

We think our systems are so robust but in reality they are crippled with bias, manipulated results and 'statistics' and borderline corruption (!)

The research is geared towards their end goal- They dont have any motivation to look at anything holistically

silverfox7 profile image
silverfox7 in reply to Saya85

Well by definition research is trying something new or amending something may. E known but needs taking further. Some don't succeed so we don't really need to know about it, some is a huge success but isn't viable at present and others have possibly passed the lab rat stage but need to be considered for follow up research on humans and some become a cog in the wheels of something g bigger that needs more input to take it to the next stage. I disagree with your statements as the widow of a research scientist it's and being a chief technician in a research department fo many years. For a start in the U.K. Your research topic has to be deemed of interest and you won't get the grant required to follow it through. Then you can't just publish it without it being commented on by other learned scientists so if you look at the known Groups you will find they have periodic meeting around the country where you can have the opportunity, if the learned society is in agreement to report your theories before a learned body. It is up to them and finance being in place before you can take the next step. Who may be asked to join another research project which can make use of what you are reporting or even be invited to spend time with others around the globe. We have offered hospitality to scientists from South Africa, Rotterdam, the States and more locally Liverpool, London, Ireland Newcastle so there is a huge research network out there and each stage is verified. So I can't agree there is anything underhand happening. Yes it takes many years to go from lab rat to the medics but that's how it is.

Saya85 profile image
Saya85 in reply to silverfox7

I wasn't commenting on the actual scientists or studies or scientific methods used.

I'm talking about exactly that- who decides grant fundig- the topics that interest them- the pharmaceutical companies will inevitably only research what is profitable to them etc

I'm saying that commercial and political interests do influence our research. And we believe that everything is rigourously tested but how many times has there been uncovered medical trials that reported adverse effects but it's covered up?

Why is T3 and thyroid so stubbornly and persistently refused acknowledgement when we see a monopoly on it etc

I know first hand how Gp surgeries are lobbied etc what we assume to be ethical , even for all medical intervention, just isn't there in all cases.

I'm not saying it's all underhand - nor even necessarily deliberate in all cases.

I'm saying so much of it is geared towards invested interests and it's not as impartial as we believe it to be.

The true scientists working on the grassroots I do believe work honestly and with integirty.

silverfox7 profile image
silverfox7 in reply to Saya85

Sorry I've misunderstood you but doing research that actually makes a difference is often years down the line. When my husband got his first degree I didn't really know him then or the time that led up to getting a grant to continue on 'a topic'. He was actually given a Welcome grant for three years but both had to agree on that the aims were plus it had to work new research and he had to have a supervisor in the department. The University would have been consulted as the grant has to cover everything, cost of lab space, technician, and all the chemical costs. The list is very thorough and extensive. Plus the people giving the grant expect a return at some point. You also need to be well versed at what else and who are out there. So it's not easy but it doesn't necessarily give you a 'finished' product as such. His PHD was on TRH so that is more of looking at research having already being do and may be expanding a small part of it so pushing back boundaries in many cases. Sometimes the parameters change depending what you find. So as well as what the individual is looking at they also need to keep up with the wider subject/picture

You mention T3 though. We that has been around far longer than any of us has. That's when things are more down to a manufacturer, it's already there but needs marketing. I am assuming they also have a band of individuals employed to assure quality control and keep production steady. They are the ones that push things in the direction of the clinicians and hopefully a cash return. So that gives the need for profit as a lot of work had been done by various groups to get anything that far so wecarent paying for gruf to be manufacture and sold but all the lead up, grants for research, marketing etc. I don't know how it works now but at one point companies where able to charge a fair price for the amount spent on getting to that stage and then after a time when claw back wasseemed to have been done then the cost would fall to a more realistic level. The reason that we are no longer offered T3 etc was, I understand down to the drug reps pushing their product as better, cheaper, easier to swallow etc and in our case taken from an animals Thyroid which makes it sound to many as riddled with germs or whatever. Hopefully as more of us are taking NDT or adding in T3 then things will change but may be not in our time. The people that tend to make the rules aren't the ones that really understand how it works. Medical students leave the university to be taught by clinicians so it's the clinicians that need to see the change so that in turn they can pass on the info to the next generation of medics.

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Saya85

I think patients are fed the fairy tale that pharmaceutical companies are carrying out their business with our best interests at heart, whether it is researching a cure for the common cold or curing cancer or inventing a vaccine. But this is not true. Companies with shareholders are legally obliged to make as much profit doing what they do as they can. They are legally not allowed (or obliged) to care about patients.

Last time my GP quoted some stats to me, I told him reseach showed 100% of people die, and looked daggers at him. He got the message! :)

Love this!

I posted this on the PAS forum a couple of years ago. Excellent, witty article that skewers the EBM dogma.

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