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Thread: Parachuting for charity: you're doing more harm than good

  1. #1
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Parachuting for charity: you're doing more harm than good

    I'm a cynical barsteward at times, and often look-on at people having a nice year-long jolly - cycling round Africa or walking round Britain or, indeed, undertaking some exciting activity Smashy & Nicey style - for charidee - and wondered "is this more for you than them?".

    Well here it is: jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft for the NHS costs them nearly £14 for every £1 they get. Proper peer-reviewed paper -

    Parachuting for charity: is it worth the money? A 5-year audit of parachute injuries in Tayside and the cost to the NHS.
    Lee CT, Williams P, Hadden WA.

    Abstract
    All parachute injuries from two local parachute centres over a 5-year period were analysed. Of 174 patients with injuries of varying severity, 94% were first-time charity-parachutists. The injury rate in charity-parachutists was 11% at an average cost of 3751 Pounds per casualty. Sixty-three percent of casualties who were charity-parachutists required hospital admission, representing a serious injury rate of 7%, at an average cost of 5781 Pounds per patient. The amount raised per person for charity was 30 Pounds. Each pound raised for charity cost the NHS 13.75 Pounds in return. Parachuting for charity costs more money than it raises, carries a high risk of serious personal injury and places a significant burden on health resources.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10476298

    Don't do it folks.

  2. #2
    I'm not reading that summary the same way. It's saying of those charity jumpers who were injured and required treatment (from the two centres), every £1 raised by them 'cost' £14.

    It's not talking about all the money raised by charity parachute jumps, just the money raised by those that resulted in injury.

    No?

  3. #3
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    I'm not reading that summary the same way. It's saying of those charity jumpers who were injured and required treatment (from the two centres), every £1 raised by them 'cost' £14.

    It's not talking about all the money raised by charity parachute jumps, just the money raised by those that resulted in injury.

    No?
    This is how I read it as well. Still funny though.

    The irony of doing a charidee jump that costs the recipent £13.75 for every £1 donated. Genius

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    This is how I read it as well. Still funny though.

    The irony of doing a charidee jump that costs the recipent £13.75 for every £1 donated. Genius
    Oh absolutely!

  5. #5
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Recent scientific research that the idea parachutes will save you is unproven at best and a myth at worst. Very detailed analysis here:

    https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094

  6. #6
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    I'm not reading that summary the same way. It's saying of those charity jumpers who were injured and required treatment (from the two centres), every £1 raised by them 'cost' £14.

    It's not talking about all the money raised by charity parachute jumps, just the money raised by those that resulted in injury.

    No?
    I've tried and failed to access the full article, and you may well be right, but considering the very high accident rate of first time jumpers for charity (94%), and the very high cost of treatment per person of £3751 - £5781 (1999 figures) - plus factors such as diversion of resources better used elsewhere, I'd suggest that the 14 to 1 ratio represents the spread cost of all charity jumps.

    I worked in the NHS in the mid-late 1980s, and the joke went even then "This year I'll not be doing a sponsored parachute jump/abseil etc in order to save the NHS money"...

  7. #7
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Knew a chap who did a charity parachute jump in his '40's.

    He suffered a heart attack on the way down and obviously cost the NHS a fair bit.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    I've tried and failed to access the full article, and you may well be right, but considering the very high accident rate of first time jumpers for charity (94%), and the very high cost of treatment per person of £3751 - £5781 (1999 figures) - plus factors such as diversion of resources better used elsewhere, I'd suggest that the 14 to 1 ratio represents the spread cost of all charity jumps.

    I worked in the NHS in the mid-late 1980s, and the joke went even then "This year I'll not be doing a sponsored parachute jump/abseil etc in order to save the NHS money"...
    It's not a 94% accident rate - it states 94% of those with injuries were first time charity jumpers. The accident rate in the charity jumper group is stated as 11% (and drops to 7% for serious injury).

    So yes, a little over 1 in 10 of every first time charity jumper in those centres got injured, which isn't great for them or the NHS!

    It would be interesting to look at other activities such as marathons in terms of money raised and costs of injury, death and general medical team presence at such events. But you'd then want to look at the overall impact of such activities in terms of the influence they have on society in terms of encouraging healthy living and the subsequent (hopeful) lessening of the financial burden over time on the health services.

  9. #9
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    It's not a 94% accident rate - it states 94% of those with injuries were first time charity jumpers. The accident rate in the charity jumper group is stated as 11% (and drops to 7% for serious injury).

    So yes, a little over 1 in 10 of every first time charity jumper in those centres got injured, which isn't great for them or the NHS!

    It would be interesting to look at other activities such as marathons in terms of money raised and costs of injury, death and general medical team presence at such events. But you'd then want to look at the overall impact of such activities in terms of the influence they have on society in terms of encouraging healthy living and the subsequent (hopeful) lessening of the financial burden over time on the health services.
    If at first you don't succeed, Parachuting is not for you
    Memento Mori

  10. #10
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Recent scientific research that the idea parachutes will save you is unproven at best and a myth at worst. Very detailed analysis here:

    https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094
    Haha! When jumping from 0.6m

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Recent scientific research that the idea parachutes will save you is unproven at best and a myth at worst. Very detailed analysis here:

    https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094
    I'm sure a pointy stick wouldn't do a great deal of good when faced with a great white shark either but I'd sure as hell rather have one than not given the choice!

  12. #12
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    "Never jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft."
    It's just democracy.

  13. #13
    The very first time i ever flew in a `plane i jumped out.
    There was a period of time - a couple of years i think, where i had taken off in a `plane but never landed in one..

  14. #14
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    Haha! When jumping from 0.6m

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    I'm not reading that summary the same way. It's saying of those charity jumpers who were injured and required treatment (from the two centres), every £1 raised by them 'cost' £14.

    It's not talking about all the money raised by charity parachute jumps, just the money raised by those that resulted in injury.

    No?
    I would also be curious about the treatment cost calculation - is it purely the cost of treatment, or factoring in other costs which would be incurred whether or not there was an injury to treat (staff salaries, depreciation of buildings and equipment etc)? Those fixed costs are incurre whether or not there is an injury to treat.

    (Theoretically staff numbers could be cut if fewer people needed to treat, but I'd guess that charity parachute jumps aren't anything like a high enough number to move that needle).

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Senninha View Post
    I would also be curious about the treatment cost calculation - is it purely the cost of treatment, or factoring in other costs which would be incurred whether or not there was an injury to treat (staff salaries, depreciation of buildings and equipment etc)? Those fixed costs are incurre whether or not there is an injury to treat.

    (Theoretically staff numbers could be cut if fewer people needed to treat, but I'd guess that charity parachute jumps aren't anything like a high enough number to move that needle).
    I can't access the paper itself, but I'd wager it's on the procedure/surgery/direct treatment costs rather than more contextual costs (there's going to be a proper name for that...). We need a health economist here...as do apparently lots of universities given the constant adverts for the positions!

  17. #17
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Sorry, 11% injury rate for first time jumpers is just waaaaay too high.
    I did a charity jump in 1990 from Peterborough, and we did it on a fine afternoon, when their Skyvan was up and down all afternoon, with about 20 jumpers in each time. It must have gone up 8 or 9 times, and I think one person had a slightly turned ankle. They definitely just walked it off.
    As that is 30 years ago and we were trained on dervicable but ancient machinery, I am sure the systems have got a lot better since.

    There is just no way that one person in 9 gets an injury, or that one in 14 needs hospital treatment - its just baloney.

    D

  18. #18
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Recent scientific research that the idea parachutes will save you is unproven at best and a myth at worst. Very detailed analysis here:

    https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094
    When jumping from an aircraft or ejecting I’d say a parachute was the safest way of returning to earth! Unless you have another option
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

  19. #19
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    When jumping from an aircraft or ejecting I’d say a parachute was the safest way of returning to earth! Unless you have another option
    That's not what the linked research says... although they do plan to do further tests and slowly increase the high each time - it's worth scrolling down to fig. 2 on the linked document.

  20. #20
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    That's not what the linked research says... although they do plan to do further tests and slowly increase the high each time - it's worth scrolling down to fig. 2 on the linked document.
    The flaws in extrapolating data!

  21. #21
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    That's not what the linked research says... although they do plan to do further tests and slowly increase the high each time - it's worth scrolling down to fig. 2 on the linked document.
    Linked research can kiss my arse. Common sense coupled with personal experience tells me exactly which option I would take or want
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    I was told that the person responsible for packing the parachute had to place a bit of paper with their name etc inside so if it doesn’t open you can contact them.......

  23. #23
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    Linked research can kiss my arse. Common sense coupled with personal experience tells me exactly which option I would take or want
    Keep up at the back.

  24. #24
    In the same miserable git vein, I get very irritated by the regular ‘we’ve sent a dozen highly paid celebrities up Mount Kilimanjaro (often freshly back from their lavish holiday you just read about in Hello magazine) to raise money for charidee, aren’t they saintly?’
    No they’re having a free holiday and pretending to be better than everyone else. Told you I was a miserable git. Having read this article, can we chuck them out of planes instead, with a reasonable chance of a resulting injury?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    Linked research can kiss my arse. Common sense coupled with personal experience tells me exactly which option I would take or want
    It’s published in the BMJ, a proper peer reviewed journal so the results are unequivocal ...

  26. #26
    Shoot first, read the peer-reviewed paper second.

    Already stated above, I acknowledge, but a good example of why you may be in trouble extrapolating data.

  27. #27
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    In the same miserable git vein, I get very irritated by the regular ‘we’ve sent a dozen highly paid celebrities up Mount Kilimanjaro (often freshly back from their lavish holiday you just read about in Hello magazine) to raise money for charidee, aren’t they saintly?’
    No they’re having a free holiday and pretending to be better than everyone else. Told you I was a miserable git. Having read this article, can we chuck them out of planes instead, with a reasonable chance of a resulting injury?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Couldn't agree more.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Recent scientific research that the idea parachutes will save you is unproven at best and a myth at worst. Very detailed analysis here:

    https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094
    I enjoyed that immensely and will be shamelessly stealing it.

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