The Magic of the Internet …

Stuck in Melbourne between a rehearsal and a gig. Totally bored, and just to prove it …


This is of course the Hollywood version, in real life you die.

Don’t believe me then volunteer for a double blind crossover trial. It is, after all, the gold standard for clinical trials and indeed the subject of a scholarly article in the British Medical Journal of December 2003 …

Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials
Gordon C S Smith, professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 2QQ,
Jill P Pell, consultant, Department of Public Health, Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Glasgow G3 8YU
To determine whether parachutes are effective in
preventing major trauma related to gravitational challenge.
Systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources:
Medline, Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane
Library databases; appropriate internet sites and citation lists.
Study selection:
Studies showing the effects of using a parachute
during free fall.
Main outcome measure
Death or major trauma, defined as an injury
severity score > 15.
We were unable to identify any randomised controlled
trials of parachute intervention.
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. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. 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.   BMJ 2003;327:1459-1461.

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