Is service with the parachute regiment bad for your health?
Military parachuting is perceived to be a 'high risk' activity. The estimate of risk should be based on a comparison of injury rates between soldiers who are military parachutists and soldiers who are not military parachutists rather than the rate of injury per parachute descent. Since other aspects of military life also have an inherent risk of injury the risk attributable to military parachuting must be assessed in this context. The aim of this paper is to determine whether Parachute Regiment soldiers have a greater risk of injury as compared with non-Parachute Regiment infantry soldiers by comparing rates of hospital admission and medical discharge between the two groups. Records at the Defence Analytical Services Agency were analysed for the 10-year period 1987-96. The mean rate of hospital admission for Parachute Regiment soldiers was 50.1 per 1,000 and for infantry soldiers was 50.8 per 1,000 [relative risk (RR) = 0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.92-1.04). The mean rate of medical discharge for Parachute Regiment soldiers was 4.9 per 1,000 and for infantry the mean rate was 2.8 per 1,000 (RR = 1.76; CI = 1.45-2.15). This study has shown a methodology for comparing occupational exposure to risk that could be extended to other groups if they can be separated by appropriate criteria. (+info)
Military parachuting injuries: a literature review.
This article is a literature review of the aspects of military parachuting related to occupational medicine and focuses on 'conventional' military static line parachuting using a round parachute. The analysis of injuries resulting from military parachuting provide an excellent example of military occupational medicine practice. The techniques of military parachuting are described in order to illustrate the potential mechanisms of injury, and a number of 'classical' parachuting injuries are described. Finally some recommendations are made for the recording of parachute injuries which would assist in the international comparison of injury rates and anatomical distribution. (+info)
Factors associated with pilot fatality in work-related aircraft crashes, Alaska, 1990-1999.
Work-related aircraft crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatality in Alaska, with civilian pilots having the highest fatality rate (410/100,000/year). To identify factors affecting survivability, the authors examined work-related aircraft crashes that occurred in Alaska in the 1990s (1990-1999), comparing crashes with pilot fatalities to crashes in which the pilot survived. Using data from National Transportation Safety Board reports, the authors carried out logistic regression analysis with the following variables: age, flight experience, use of a shoulder restraint, weather conditions (visual flight vs. instrument flight), light conditions (daylight vs. darkness), type of aircraft (airplane vs. helicopter), postcrash fire, crash location (airport vs. elsewhere), and state of residence. In the main-effects model, significant associations were found between fatality and postcrash fire (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 6.43, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.38, 17.37), poor weather (AOR = 4.11, 95% CI: 2.15, 7.87), and non-Alaska resident status (AOR = 2.10, 95% CI: 1.05, 4.20). Protective effects were seen for shoulder restraint use (AOR = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.77) and daylight versus darkness (AOR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.25, 0.99). The finding that state of residence was associated with survivability offers new information on pilot survivability in work-related aircraft crashes in Alaska. These results may be useful in targeting safety interventions for pilots who fly occupationally in Alaska or in similar environments. (+info)
Dental identification after two mass disasters in Croatia.
AIM: To determine the usefulness of dental methods in the identification of victims in the railway accident in Zagreb (August 30, 1974) and midair collision of a British and a Slovenian airplane near Vrbovec (September 10, 1976). METHODS: There were 152 people killed in the railway accident, and 176 fatalities in the plane crash (63 in the British and 113 in the Slovenian plane). Individual victim identification and autopsy forms, and group identification reports were analyzed. RESULTS: Of the railway accident victims, 111 were identified. Dental characteristics, along with clothes, personal descriptions, personal documents, fingerprints, and jewelry, proved to be decisive in 5% of the cases. All 63 passengers and crew members from the British plane were identified; in 33% of the victims dental features, along with other characteristics, were decisive. From the Slovenian plane 103 victims were identified, 14% exclusively by teeth and 16% by teeth in combination with other characteristics. Ten bodies remained unidentified. CONCLUSION: The reasons for the small number of dental identifications in the victims of the railway accident were incomplete or unavailable antemortem data provided by relatives and friends of the deceased, and the predominant orientation toward other forensic identification methods. The significant number of dental identifications in the plane crash is explained by the provision of complete and accurate antemortem odontological data. Dental characteristics proved to be particularly valuable in the identification of carbonized victims. (+info)
Exploratory spatial analysis of pilot fatality rates in general aviation crashes using geographic information systems.
Geographic information systems and exploratory spatial analysis were used to describe the geographic characteristics of pilot fatality rates in 1983-1998 general aviation crashes within the continental United States. The authors plotted crash sites on a digital map; rates were computed at regular grid intersections and then interpolated by using geographic information systems. A test for significance was performed by using Monte Carlo simulations. Further analysis compared low-, medium-, and high-rate areas in relation to pilot characteristics, aircraft type, and crash circumstance. Of the 14,051 general aviation crashes studied, 31% were fatal. Seventy-four geographic areas were categorized as having low fatality rates and 53 as having high fatality rates. High-fatality-rate areas tended to be mountainous, such as the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian region, whereas low-rate areas were relatively flat, such as the Great Plains. Further analysis comparing low-, medium-, and high-fatality-rate areas revealed that crashes in high-fatality-rate areas were more likely than crashes in other areas to have occurred under instrument meteorologic conditions and to involve aircraft fire. This study demonstrates that geographic information systems are a valuable tool for injury prevention and aviation safety research. (+info)
Factors associated with pilot fatalities in work-related aircraft crashes--Alaska, 1990-1999.
Despite its large geographic area, Alaska has only 12,200 miles of public roads, and 90% of the state's communities are not connected to a highway system. Commuter and air-taxi flights are essential for transportation of passengers and delivery of goods, services, and mail to outlying communities (Figure 1). Because of the substantial progress in decreasing fatalities in the fishing and logging industries, aviation crashes are the leading cause of occupational death in Alaska. During 1990-1999, aircraft crashes in Alaska caused 107 deaths among workers classified as civilian pilots. This is equivalent to 410 fatalities per 100,000 pilots each year, approximately five times the death rate for all U.S. pilots and approximately 100 times the death rate for all U.S. workers. As part of a collaborative aviation safety initiative that CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is implementing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the National Weather Service, CDC analyzed data from NTSB crash reports to determine factors associated with pilot fatalities in work-related aviation crashes in Alaska. This report summarizes the result of this analysis, which found that the following factors were associated with pilot fatalities: crashes involving a post-crash fire, flights in darkness or weather conditions requiring instrument use, crashes occurring away from an airport, and crashes in which the pilot was not using a shoulder restraint. Additional pilot training, improved fuel systems that are less likely to ignite in crashes, and company policies that discourage flying in poor weather conditions might help decrease pilot fatalities. More detailed analyses of crash data, collaborations with aircraft operators to improve safety, and evaluation of new technologies are needed. (+info)
Light aircraft crash--a case analysis of injuries.
BACKGROUND: As air travel increases and the number of commercial and non-commercial flights rises, so does the number of aircraft accidents. The improved safety standards of the aviation industry result in a growing number of survivors of aircraft crashes, but there are no management guidelines for the treatment of these survivors. OBJECTIVES: To present our experience in treating five survivors of a light aircraft crash that occurred in August 1995 near Jerusalem. RESULTS: All five survivors sustained vertebral column injuries, which was the only injury in most of the survivors. We discuss the mechanism of injury. CONCLUSIONS: Investigation of injuries' pattern in survivors of aircraft crash is important for establishing management protocols in trauma centers. (+info)
Mortality from cancer and other causes among airline cabin attendants in Germany, 1960-1997.
Airline cabin attendants are exposed to several potential occupational hazards, including cosmic radiation. Little is known about the mortality pattern and cancer risk of these persons. The authors conducted a historical cohort study among cabin attendants who had been employed by two German airlines in 1953 or later. Mortality follow-up was completed through December 31, 1997. The authors computed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for specific causes of death using German population rates. The effect of duration of employment was evaluated with Poisson regression. The cohort included 16,014 women and 4,537 men (approximately 250,000 person-years of follow-up). Among women, the total number of deaths (n = 141) was lower than expected (SMR = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67, 0.94). The SMR for all cancers (n = 44) was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.54, 1.17), and the SMR for breast cancer (n = 19) was 1.28 (95% CI: 0.72, 2.20). The SMR did not increase with duration of employment. Among men, 170 deaths were observed (SMR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.28). The SMR for all cancers (n = 21) was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.41, 1.18). The authors found a high number of deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SMR = 40; 95% CI: 28.9, 55.8) and from aircraft accidents among the men. In this cohort, ionizing radiation probably contributed less to the small excess in breast cancer mortality than reproductive risk factors. Occupational causes seem not to contribute strongly to the mortality of airline cabin attendants. (+info)