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Med Sport Sci. 2012;58:44-56. doi: 10.1159/000338581. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

The epidemiology of injury in hang-gliding and paragliding.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway. trek@helse-bergen.no

Abstract

Para- and hang-gliding are modern air sports that developed in the 20th century. Performers should possess technical skills and manage certified equipment for successful flight. Injuries may happen during the take-off, flight and landing. PubMed was searched using the search terms 'paragliding' and/or 'hang-gliding'. The reference lists of articles identified in the search strategy were also searched for relevant articles. The most common injuries are fractures, dislocations or sprains in the extremities, followed by spinal and head traumas. Multiple injuries after accidents are common. Collision with electrical wires may cause burn injuries. Fatal outcomes are caused by brain injuries, spinal cord injuries at the cervical level or aorta rupture. Accidents happen because of risk-taking behavior, lack of education or use of self-modified equipment. Observational studies have suggested the need for protection of the head, trunk and lower extremities. The measures proposed are often based on conclusions of observational studies and not proven through randomized studies. Better education along with focusing on possible risk factors will probably diminish the risks of hang- and paragliding. Large denominator-based case series, case-control and population-based studies are needed for assessment of the risks of hang- and paragliding.

PMID:
22824838
DOI:
10.1159/000338581
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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