The first ever published study of aviation-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. finds that more than 1,013 patients are admitted to U.S. hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually, and that 753 aviation-related deaths occur each year. The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy and Columbia University, also reports that the largest categories of patients were occupants of civilian, noncommercial powered aircraft.
Lower limb fractures were the most common injury, followed by burns. The report is published in the December issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.
“Our findings provide valuable information, not previously available, on the number and kinds of injuries sustained in aviation-related events,” said lead author Susan P. Baker, professor with the Injury Center. “Because many injuries can be prevented through changes in the structure of aircraft, these data should be used to recognize needed improvements in aircraft design. For example, the high numbers of lower limb fractures suggest modifications to the various structures likely to be contacted by the feet and legs when a crash occurs.”