News from the Parachute Trials, Day 2

By | April 23, 2011

The p value of the Student’s T test for this injury data was 0.03. On the basis of this data, not only could they not recommend parachutes as effective, they could no longer sanction them as safe!?

Undaunted by the setbacks of Day 1, the researches approached the study group with a new proposal. Reasoning that the high crossover rate and the subsequent lack of a control group was a fatal flaw in the study design, the investigators asked what concessions would have to be made in order for the participants to relent on their previous demand for a crossover arm.

After extensive discussions amongst themselves, the study participants decided that if the height, from which they had to jump, were to be held to 10 feet or less they would forgo the cross over arm. The researchers conferred and decided to accept with the hope that if the 10-foot jump went well, perhaps they could induce the study participants to jump from a higher altitude next time.

A 10-foot ladder was procured and each of the participants was given a single code numbered parachute sack. The results, however, were again disappointing. While there were no fatalities, the experimental group surprisingly had a higher rate of injuries than the control group. There was one participant from the control group who suffered a bruised buttock, while 4 members of the experimental group suffered injuries. It seems that these 4 participants failed jump clear and got their parachutes caught on the ladder. There were 2 contused shoulders, one strained back and one poor soul who has dragged back into the ladder, suffering a scalp laceration requiring sutures at the local Urgent Care Clinic.

The administrators from the National Health were very upset about this. They pointed out that the p value of a paired Student’s T test for this injury data was 0.03. On the basis of this data, not only could they not recommend parachutes as effective, they could no longer sanction them as safe!?


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