The epidemiology of skydiving injuries: World freefall convention, 2000-2001

Thomas H. Barrows, Trevor Mills, Scott D. Kassing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence and types of injuries incurred by civilian skydivers using contemporary equipment under conventional conditions. Injury data were collected at the World Freefall skydiving convention (WFFC), during two consecutive periods of operation, August 4-13, 2000 and August 3-12, 2001. During the study periods, 8976 skydivers made 117,000 skydives. The First Aid Station at the WFFC treated 204 patients for injuries related to skydiving, at a rate of 17.4/10,000 (injuries/skydives). Most injuries were minor (66%) and required only simple first aid. Significant injuries, defined as those requiring treatment in the emergency department, occurred at a rate of 6.0/10,000 (injuries/skydives). The rate of hospitalization was 1.8/10,000 skydives. There was one fatality during this study. We believe these results provide a current update regarding the risk and types of injury related to recreational skydiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • injury epidemiology
  • mass gathering
  • skydiving
  • sports injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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