Background Parachuting is known to be relatively safe and has a low injury rate. There are some parameters influencing parachuting casualties. In order to determine the influences of type of jump and parachute, effect of equipment carried, time of jump and wind speed, we conducted a retrospective study at the Parachuting Training Center of Israel, assessing 53832 military parachute jumps.
Methods Two categories of injuries were defined: major (fractures, dislocation, head trauma, ligamentous tears) and minor (contusion, bruises, sprain injuries).
Results The overall injury rate was 0.6 percent. The commonest major injuries were ankle fractures and head trauma, while ankle sprain was the most common minor injury. The lowest rate of injury was found in free falls jumpers (0.2 percent) and highest amongst manoeuvres (1.1 percent). The highest injury rate occurred when using an Israeli version of “T-10” military parachute (0.7 percent) and the lowest with free fall parachutes (0.2 percent). Extra equipment carried during jumps caused higher injury rate (0.8 percent) compared to jumps without equipment (0.5 percent) using the “T-10” military parachute. Injury rates were greater at night (1.0 percent) compared to day jumps (0.5 percent). In day jumps commonest major injury was ankle fracture, while in night jumps it was head trauma. The commonest minor injury in day and night jumps was ankle sprain. At wind speed of 0-4 Knots parachuting injuries were higher compared with wind speeds of 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 Knots with injury rates of 0.8, 0.5 and 0.6 percent respectively.
Conclusions Diverse factors influence the injury rate in parachuting. Identifying such factors may enable us to change them in order to minimize the number of injured parachutists.
- parachuting injuries
- ankle sprain
- ankle fracture
- head trauma
- environmental influences
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