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October 18, 1965

Sport Parachuting and Sky Diving

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin hospitals, Madison (Dr. Ryan), and Wilbraham, Mass (Dr. Thomas).

JAMA. 1965;194(3):259-263. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090160037010

With an estimated 40,000 persons in the United States engaged in this new sport, and with its popularity still increasing, it can be expected that physicians will become more and more involved in considerations of prevention of injuries and fatalities incurred in this activity. Serious public concern is evidenced when the number of fatalities in football practice and play amount to 45, as they did in 1964. Twenty-seven of these were due directly to trauma. The number of boys and young men participating in this sport was close to 4 million. Yet there were 34 fatalities in sports parachuting and sky diving in 1963 and 32 in 1964, an estimated fatality ratio per participant over 80 times greater than that for football. It is apparently the case that public concern is less only because fewer people are involved and because the majority are adults, and presumably, therefore, responsible only to

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