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Injuries in Swedish skydiving
  1. Anton Westman (anton{at}
  1. Division of Surgery, Sweden
    1. Ulf Björnstig (ulf.bjornstig{at}
    1. Division of Surgery, Sweden


      Objective: Create a basis for prevention of modern skydiving injuries.

      Design: Descriptive epidemiological study.

      Setting: National total material.

      Patients: Data on all reported injury events (n=257) in Swedish skydiving 1999-2003 (total 539 885 jumps) was retrieved from the Swedish Parachute Association. Non-fatally injured skydivers were sent a questionnaire asking for event and injury details (response rate 89%) and supplementary hospital records were retrieved for the most serious injuries (n=85).

      Assessment of Risk Factors: Human, equipment, and environmental factors.

      Main Outcome Measurements: Frequency and severity of injuries.

      Results: Incidence of non-fatal injury events was 48 per 100 000 jumps. The lower extremities, spine and shoulders were important regions of injury. The most serious injuries were suffered by licensed skydivers, but students in training had a higher injury rate and more often left the sport because of the injury. Of two student training systems, one had an incidence less than half compared to the other.

      Conclusions: A basis for prevention was created, showing a potential for reduction of frequency and severity of injuries with training and technical interventions.

      • epidemiology
      • injury
      • parachuting
      • risk
      • skydiving

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