Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2003 12:14 PM | Contributed by loriu
The Brain Injury Association of America, working at the request of Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), has completed its comprehensive study of the correlation between brain injuries and roller coaster rides and has concluded that "the overwhelming majority of riders will suffer no ill effects" and that the "risk of brain injury from a roller coaster is not in the rides, but in the riders." The study was released today in Washington, D.C.
News from Ed Markey
United States Congress Massachusetts Seventh District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
David Moulton or
February 25, 2003
embargoed until 1 pm
MARKEY URGES BRAIN INJURY PANEL TO SHARE ITS WORK-PRODUCT WITH THE PUBLIC
AND OTHER SCIENTISTS
Industry-Expert panel blames brain-injury on pre-existing conditions, but
fails to disclose analysis of 57 cases, including 20 published in medical
Washington, DC: Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) released the following statement today upon release of the report prepared at the request of Rep. Markey and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) by the Brain Injury Association of America concerning brain trauma experienced by 57 amusement park rider patrons that could not be explained by any direct blow to the head:
"I thank the Brain Injury Association of America for undertaking this task and for the time and effort put into it. Its key finding - that "at-risk populations ... are already warned" - is certainly reassuring to those who do not have a pre-disposition to brain injury.
"We have made great progress in the last year. The public now has some regulatory assurance that the industry will not be allowed to increase force on rides beyond what is medically reasonable. New Jersey has adopted enforceable g-force standards, and the industry is circulating a voluntary g-force standard that mirrors the New Jersey standards. None of this existed when I first asked the industry to set a voluntary standard in May 2000, nor when Rep. Pascrell and I asked for the BIAA to look at the medical issue in February 2002.
"However, I am very puzzled by the decision of the panel to withhold the basis of their conclusions. By neglecting to publish the panel's work product, the panel undermines the validity of its own findings and throws a cloud over integrity of its work that is hard to dispel.
"I am not a scientist, but I recall being admonished in grade school to 'show your work.' By showing your work, others can know how you arrived at your conclusion, and can give you partial credit even if your conclusion turns out to be wrong. This approach is the building block of scientific inquiry, whereby one's work is published so that others can test their own theories against yours and so that the methodology underlying a conclusion can be tested and replicated to prove its worth.
"Conversely, to present conclusions without revealing how they were derived is considered the opposite of science. It denies other scientists and interested parties the ability to test their own judgments against the work of the panel.
"This contrasts, for example, with the report recently commissioned by Six Flags and conducted by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The Six Flags panel review each of 20 cases contained in recent medical journals, and discusses each case in sufficient detail to determine the basis for its conclusions. Based on the expert opinion of this panel, 6 of the 20 cases were deemed "implausible" regarding the theory that the brain injury was caused by an amusement park ride. Of the remaining 14, however, the panel found that at least 9 of the 20 cases appeared on their face to involve cases of brain injury plausibly related to riding an amusement park ride, and an additional 5 cases could not be ruled out based pending further investigation.
"The BIAA panel looked at the same cases but does not include any case-by-case discussion. Why?
"In fact, the BIAA panel does not even include a single reference to the individual articles that they have in their possession and presumably reviewed. Why?
"The BIAA panel had in its possession detailed descriptions not only of the 20 cases discussed in the Six Flags Report, but also an additional 37 cases derived from individual victims or their doctors or investigations following news reports. How were each of these cases considered by the panel? Where is the work product of the months and months of deliberation over these injuries and their causation?
"Today, I am calling once again for the BIAA to reverse its decision to withhold the body of this report. Its opinions are valuable; its analysis of the evidence, however, would be much more valuable and constitutes the core of the request that 11 of my colleagues made a year ago. There is simply no good reason to hide the basis of its conclusion; there is every reason to make it public now."
# # #
ISRAEL S. KLEIN
U.S. Rep. Edward Markey
2108 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-0092 fax
(202) 225-2816 cell
So he didnt get the result that HE wanted, so he whines some more. Does he EVER give up?
An Astroworld Tribute Site
Um, yeah Ed....the face of thrill rides will never be the same. People will be SHOCKED at how different their favorite rides are, and how safe they are now.
- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson
I know you don't have to have a previous "trauma" to the brain in order to have an aneurysm suddenly appear. My father was at a christmas party when one burst in his head. No previous trauma and no strenuous activity. It can happen to anyone at any time and anywhere. Those 14 cases Markey talks about are just people being on a coaster when it happened instead of at a christmas party.
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
Run along Ed... worry about terrorism, education, health care and such. These are far more important pursuits on the national agenda.
"The public now has some regulatory assurance that the industry will not be allowed to increase force on rides beyond what is medically reasonable."
Sure. As if the parks didn't already know this, now there's useless artificial limits imposed (in NJ, anyway) that go beyond what any current ride does anyway. As if parks were about to start killing patrons off. Not only does Sen. Markey not understand physics (speed != G's; height != G's), he doesn't understand business, either (killing patrons == bad business).
"I am not a scientist, but I recall being admonished in grade school to 'show your work.'"
Patience, my boy, said results will be published. In the meantime, I'd like to point out that Markey freely admits he isn't a scientist, yet he tries to interpret statistics to make them say what he wants. Can't have it both ways, bub.
A suggestion to Sen. Markey -- PLEASE move on to REAL issues, like the stupidity of other government officials who tell people to buy duct tape and plastic.
--Greg, aka Oat Boy
"Friendship -- more lasting than love, more legal than stalking."
*** This post was edited by GregLeg 2/25/2003 6:34:32 PM ***
Yup. Moron is the word of choice.
Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...
Even with terrorism, poverty, potential war, nuclear threats, etc. aside. There are SO many more worthy "smaller" issues in our country. Heck, 97 people just died in a club fire. That's more than all the non-rider caused amusement park deaths in the last 50 years. Today in Baltimore more people were killed by guns than last year on rides. Ya know?
- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson*** This post was edited by Peabody 2/25/2003 7:17:52 PM ***
Please visit the small parks. We don't know what's happening behind the scenes
Every suit on that hill in D.C. has their own little pork project and 99.9% of them are stupid and worthless.
The truely sad part about this whole hullabulu is that he actually gets coverage for his pork project. But I think with his "virtuous" statement that he's proved himself a royal jack a double s and that the GP will start to realize that this guy really likes hearing himself and not his constituents.
And that's my two cents.
Flying over metal is a beautiful thing!
TNcoasterman*** This post was edited by TNcoasterman 2/25/2003 11:41:29 PM ***
A nice pointer from this report to that one would be a nice response.
Fear, not the distance from which you fall, however, the velocity with which you hit the ground.
Last night, my local channels carried the release of this information but buried in between weather and sports in a quick 20 second spot. Danger, accidents, death is so much sexier for the news agencies.
They still made some noises about setting up groups to police of collect data as a possibility, but didn't push that. While I would be curious to see some of the data that isn't being collected, it is just that curiosity. I can't see where collecting this data is justified from a stand point of protecting the public or economics. I was particularly surprised when the report mentioned collecting data on frequent riders. First it is unlikely that data could ever be collected on a large enough group to constitute a statisticly significant sample. Second this would require that a huge number of frequent riders volunteer to participate, or that ACE members be required to register with the government. :)
OK.. Why don't we pretend they weren't. 50 People die each year from falling out, 125 from crashes, 100 from brain injury, and 500 from sharks flying in the air and biting them.
Now, should we be forced not to ride? Couldn't we be able choose for ourselves? We all know that driving isn't incredibly safe. Smoking isn't healthy. Eating 12 meals a day isn't. But people still decide to do it, and in my opinion they have a right to.
To me this whole thing is a waste.
Kingbob wrote this.
"The Tidal Wave, you don't ride it, you survive it" - 1977*** This post was edited by Draco 2/26/2003 6:22:39 PM ***
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