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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydy View Post
    According "our" experts, that research would take time and money.
    Since the vests are selling quite well with little research, but much BNR anecdotal endorsement, there isn't much incentive for companies to do the proper research.

    The problem that many of us have(as you can read in previous threads about this topic) is ; It Seems The Air Vest Companies Are Doing Their Product Research On Their Customers, Rather Than Before Marketing Their Product and that is not acceptable in the world of "safety" gear.
    I'm dizzy, we just keep going round and round.
    As I pointed out earlier the companies have done research and another poster immediately jumped in and basically said that because the testing was done by the companies it doesn't count for anything because they are only trying to make their product look good. Why should they do further testing if no one is going to accept their findings anyway?
    It seems like nothing is going to satisfy the naysayers so I give up on this topic.
    Whether you use an air vest or not stay safe and remember "Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly."


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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballero View Post
    Or was this thread started for some other reason
    Oh dear. And now it's time to put on your inflatable tin foil hats.

    I started this thread for exactly what it says in my OP. I saw the photo of CF, then the video, and figured that (1) somebody on here would know what happened and (2) that the video would be of interest to others on here, which it is judging by the number of new views.

    I didn't start or get into the subsequent tangents until people starting batting around the 'beliefs' of EMTs. As an EMT, I had some comments to add.

    BB discussions are always, to some extent, free-form and free-range. That's fine with me.


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  3. #63
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    I am new to the COTH BB and am already tired of batting around the virtues and evils of air vests. As long as no one can point to research showing that the vest will *hurt* more often than it will *help*, I am more than willing to wear one.

    The only *evidence* I have heard that vests may harm us is purely anecdotal and only through this BB. I have heard of no lawsuits or inquiries or product recalls and the like. None.

    So I am going to try to ignore the debate on air vests until/unless there is some sort of evidence that points in one direction or the other.

    I said try... it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut on issues that I care about.


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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydy View Post
    According to "our" experts, that research would take time and money.
    Since the vests are selling quite well with little research, but much BNR anecdotal endorsement, there isn't much incentive for companies to do the proper research.

    The problem that many of us have(as you can read in previous threads about this topic) is ; It Seems The Air Vest Companies Are Doing Their Product Research On Their Customers, Rather Than Before Marketing Their Product, and that is not acceptable in the world of "safety" gear.
    (just don't call me an expert in anything but the scientific method, and perhaps a firsthand witness of the "this sounds like it would work really well, let's do it, count the bodies, and then study it" school of medical decision-making, of which examples are numerous)

    I am actually reasonably close to being willing to wear a vest, if even a few small steps are taken. (more on potential impact on spinal fractures and a truly fail-safe lanyard) But--and please correct me if I'm wrong--there have been little to no improvements on the product recently and AFAIK no specific research on the spinal fracture question. I daresay the latter is something nobody wants to touch with a ten foot pole.

    I don't care so much about bumps and bruises. I want to use equipment that might save my life, IF that equipment shows convincing evidence that it will do so and convincing evidence it is spectacularly unlikely to make those odds worse.

    So I'm not a rabid anti-vest hater who won't wear one no matter what. I'm pretty close to the middle on the "risk vs. benefit" calculation, actually. But not close enough to cross over to the "yes I'm wearing one" side. I do understand the thought process of those who do. I'm just not in the same place, and risk/benefit calculations are different for EVERYONE.

    I do find their advertising vs. research priorities and their advertising methods pretty appalling. But that is true of a lot of things in the horse world, including 95% of supplements. It is a stance that personally I don't see how every truly science-minded individual can fail to share. But I've been accused of being a little bit "out there" on the topic.
    Click here before you buy.


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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    That is not stopping the makers of vests from using (selected) accidents as "evidence".



    With all due respect and gratitude to EMTs everywhere, neither are they particularly well trained in the nuances of neuro/orthopedic trauma (other than stabilize-and-ship), biomechanical research, or other areas that might make their opinions anything more than a "golly gee" observation or friendly speculation in an attempt to make an accident victim feel better. It is VERY DANGEROUS for anyone even in a para-medical field to make offhand comments about accidents or illnesses, because people (especially in stressful or traumatic situations) latch on to what a medical person in authority says and can elevate even a casual statement to the level of dogma.

    I try to be REALLY careful to never say things like "wow, it's a good thing you came in when you did or this ______ may have been a lot worse" because (and I have quite literally heard with my own ears on more than one occasion) words to that effect immediately translated and shared as "that doctor told me I would have been *dead* if I had arrived even 5 minutes later".
    This.

    As someone who also works in emergency medical services, I don't see where a little bit of opinion/anecdote from one EMT has much relevance here. For one thing, an individual practitioner isn't likely to see all that many true spinal injuries. "My neck/back hurts" doesn't count, if the patient is neurologically intact. Additionally, mechanism of injury varies widely from one accident to another. One provider's personal experience simply doesn't have the sample size to determine benefit or lack thereof.

    As an aside, somewhat ironically, the practice of spinal immobilization itself has garnered some criticism in recent times, due to a lack of conclusive research indicating that the risks of full immobilization outweigh the benefits. However, it remains standard practice, at least in the US, although a few places have begun to develop protocols for clearing a patient's c-spine in the field.



  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    (just don't call me an expert in anything but the scientific method, and perhaps a firsthand witness of the "this sounds like it would work really well, let's do it, count the bodies, and then study it" school of medical decision-making, of which examples are numerous)

    I am actually reasonably close to being willing to wear a vest, if even a few small steps are taken. (more on potential impact on spinal fractures and a truly fail-safe lanyard) But--and please correct me if I'm wrong--there have been little to no improvements on the product recently and AFAIK no specific research on the spinal fracture question. I daresay the latter is something nobody wants to touch with a ten foot pole.

    I don't care so much about bumps and bruises. I want to use equipment that might save my life, IF that equipment shows convincing evidence that it will do so and convincing evidence it is spectacularly unlikely to make those odds worse.

    So I'm not a rabid anti-vest hater who won't wear one no matter what. I'm pretty close to the middle on the "risk vs. benefit" calculation, actually. But not close enough to cross over to the "yes I'm wearing one" side. I do understand the thought process of those who do. I'm just not in the same place, and risk/benefit calculations are different for EVERYONE.

    I do find their advertising vs. research priorities and their advertising methods pretty appalling. But that is true of a lot of things in the horse world, including 95% of supplements. It is a stance that personally I don't see how every truly science-minded individual can fail to share. But I've been accused of being a little bit "out there" on the topic.

    I count RAyers as one of "our" experts as well and this subject is right up his alley..
    I agree that that the advertising methods are appalling ( as does the entity that has fined them (twice?) now for unsubstantiated claims in their advertising).

    I think this a topic worthy of discussion, I'm sorry some folks are bored by it..


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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Not to mention the ENTIRELY UNANSWERED question of whether or not it is better or worse to have a rapidly-inflating thing potentially pushing vertebral fragments around in the event of a spinal fracture. That last question--unanswered--is my the main reason I won't wear one until there is some directed research (the good kind) in that direction.
    This kind of reminds me of the history of ski boots. Ski boots used to be quite short (like paddock boots) and not entirely rigid.

    There were lots of broken ankles.

    Then they came out with taller, more rigid boots.

    It cut way down on the broken ankles, but the injury rate higher up the leg went way up.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


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  8. #68
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    It is not the vests themselves I have a problem with. If you want to flip $800 at one, it's your money. It's the use of misleading statements in the ad campaign that have already been prosecuted as unethical. They are quite content to let people spread anecdotal stories of "omg, it's awesome" but anecdotal stories of "this may have or did cause harm and worsen the situation" are ignored. Double standard. The downright untrue statements made in marketing and the unwillingness of the company to stop, as they rake in money hand over foot, is my problem. I realize that "may reduce bruising" doesn't sell as many vests as "IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!" but it's an important distinction.

    There are excellent companies of equine safety products and other things we buy that bend over backwards for the customer, work hard to make sure their product is what it says it is and, oh, haven't been fined for lying to you. So wear one or not, it has no effect on me, and I don't care at all about the product itself, as long as no one tries to make me wear it. But I agree with our medical practitioners, skydy and delta and JER, that misleading people on such a scale is an important issue.


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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    This kind of reminds me of the history of ski boots. Ski boots used to be quite short (like paddock boots) and not entirely rigid.

    There were lots of broken ankles.

    Then they came out with taller, more rigid boots.

    It cut way down on the broken ankles, but the injury rate higher up the leg went way up.
    An example of the law of unintended consequences. NO DOUBT the intention of ski boot designers was to make them SAFER and reduce the incidence of ankle fractures.

    I wonder how much pre-launch research was done on modern ski boots?
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #70
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    The first five studies were done using motorcycle vests and designed to test the efficacy for motorcycle use. That leaves one study done with equestrian use in mind. I don't think the vests are harmful overall, but I would like to see more equestrian research done before I shell out the $$$ for one. Especially when their results for bruising and such compared the air vest to no protection, rather than a safety vest. I wonder about crumple impacts that aren't direct front or back hits. Yes, I think it's great that the study shows they help. One study is not enough. I did find a record for an FEI publication on air vests, but it was not peer-reviewed. I'm definitely a cynic, so I like peer-reviewed publications.

    ETA: Most fall impacts that I've witnessed have some sort of vertical axis component. People don't usually fall flat on their backs or fronts.



  11. #71
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    I know this is silly, but besides the issue of inflating on fractured verts I'm sort of afraid to wear one because of the popping and pressure. I've seen a few people fall off in one and when they landed they started freaking out. I'm not sure if maybe they were to tight to begin with, or if they were just super sensitive..

    I'm a sissy when it comes to falling off. I always get upset, I don't want to be hyperventilating because a vest too.



  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I wonder how much pre-launch research was done on modern ski boots?
    Due to the longstanding efforts (since 1972) of a group of doctors/scientists at the University of Vermont, ski injuries are relatively well-researched. Many changes and innovations have come about through their studies.

    There's an overview of their work here.



    Of course, a lower limb injury is not the same thing as blunt force trauma to the torso.


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  13. #73
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    Wouldn't it be awesome if we had such a research foundation for equestrian sports, via the non-profit status of this research on ski accidents? But I guess the ski industry has a lot more money behind it than our industry does... and skiing is also a very high risk sport, with a noticeable number of fatalaties each year.

    I wonder if the ski boot manufacturers also did research and published it in peer-reviewed journals? Or is this all independent researchers who are passionate about making skiing a safer sport?

    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    Due to the longstanding efforts (since 1972) of a group of doctors/scientists at the University of Vermont, ski injuries are relatively well-researched. Many changes and innovations have come about through their studies.

    There's an overview of their work here.



    Of course, a lower limb injury is not the same thing as blunt force trauma to the torso.
    Last edited by Winding Down; Feb. 1, 2013 at 06:39 PM. Reason: misspelling



  14. #74
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    I'm just really upset you put one more vision in my head of the fence that already scares the bejeezus out of me!
    --Becky in TX
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  15. #75
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    I wonder if the ski boot manufacturers also did research and published it in peer-reviewed journals? Or is this all independent researchers who are passionate about making skiing a safer sport?
    A quick Medline search on the keywords "ski boot fracture" yielded 20+ pages of published citations. A search on the keywords "air vest equestrian" yielded a whopping TWO citations. They were both patent applications.
    Click here before you buy.


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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    Wouldn't it be awesome if we had such a research foundation for equestrian sports, via the non-profit status of this research on ski accidents? But I guess the ski industry has a lot more money behind it than our industry does... and skiing is also a very high risk sport, with a noticeable number of fatalaties each year.

    I wonder if the ski boot manufacturers also did research and published it in peer-reviewed journals? Or is this all independent researchers who are passionate about making skiing a safer sport?
    Then let me educate you. We, as in ALL EQUESTRIAN sports, have the Equestrian Medical Safety Association. The intent of this group is the development and dissemination of medical and safety data in any and all disciplines (not just english). Yes, it is nonprofit and relies on both public and industry involvement.

    Next time do a lit search on "air+vest+motorcycle." There is extensive literature on that.

    As for skiing being a high risk sport with high numbers of fatalities, you are being rather melodramatic. You do not look at the absolute numbers but look at the ACCIDENT RATE. Ski Colorado has well over 1 million skier visits per year but only 20 fatalities, a low death rate as compared to other sports.

    And yes, the LIABILITY LAW SUITS resulted in new designs for ski equipment in the US. We are lucky it has not happened yet, but time is limited. It is only a matter of time before folks start suing for faulty claims etc. on safety equipment. And that too was part of the discussion at the USEA symposium with this point being made by a MAJOR equestrian safety equipment manufacturer (you probably own one of their products).


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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Then let me educate you. We, as in ALL EQUESTRIAN sports, have the Equestrian Medical Safety Association. The intent of this group is the development and dissemination of medical and safety data in any and all disciplines (not just english). Yes, it is nonprofit and relies on both public and industry involvement.

    Next time do a lit search on "air+vest+motorcycle." There is extensive literature on that.

    As for skiing being a high risk sport with high numbers of fatalities, you are being rather melodramatic. You do not look at the absolute numbers but look at the ACCIDENT RATE. Ski Colorado has well over 1 million skier visits per year but only 20 fatalities, a low death rate as compared to other sports.

    And yes, the LIABILITY LAW SUITS resulted in new designs for ski equipment in the US. We are lucky it has not happened yet, but time is limited. It is only a matter of time before folks start suing for faulty claims etc. on safety equipment. And that too was part of the discussion at the USEA symposium with this point being made by a MAJOR equestrian safety equipment manufacturer (you probably own one of their products).
    Is there a video or transcript from this meeting?


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  18. #78
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    Geeze Louise. Me? Melodramatic? I've been called lots of negative things, but this is the first time I've been called melodramatic. I did not know skiing was not a high risk sport with high numbers of fatalities. I do understand that one needs to look ath the accident rate. I didn't do that. I had two friends who were both racers and both died many years ago in accidents. And, I was at fault in making a generalization.

    So it is wonderful that we have this foundation and I hope they are doing the sort of research that we need to assess safety equipment, much as the Ski Research Nonprofit has and is doing. I hope that a portion of our USEA dues are going to such efforts.

    We have a lot of safety equipment, including stirrups, stirrup bars on saddles, helmets, harnesses, safety vests, and more. And it is good that the isn't limited to eventing, as this can bring in more funds.

    Thank you for educating me. I appreciate that.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Then let me educate you. We, as in ALL EQUESTRIAN sports, have the Equestrian Medical Safety Association. The intent of this group is the development and dissemination of medical and safety data in any and all disciplines (not just english). Yes, it is nonprofit and relies on both public and industry involvement.

    Next time do a lit search on "air+vest+motorcycle." There is extensive literature on that.

    As for skiing being a high risk sport with high numbers of fatalities, you are being rather melodramatic. You do not look at the absolute numbers but look at the ACCIDENT RATE. Ski Colorado has well over 1 million skier visits per year but only 20 fatalities, a low death rate as compared to other sports.

    And yes, the LIABILITY LAW SUITS resulted in new designs for ski equipment in the US. We are lucky it has not happened yet, but time is limited. It is only a matter of time before folks start suing for faulty claims etc. on safety equipment. And that too was part of the discussion at the USEA symposium with this point being made by a MAJOR equestrian safety equipment manufacturer (you probably own one of their products).


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  19. #79
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    As I said on another thread on this topic, if I fall and hit my head in my Charles Owen helmet, I can send it back to them and get a discount on a new one. They take the helmet apart and study it to see if they can improve their design. That, at least, sounds good and makes me feel like they have a good product. I know it also has passed some testing standard even before I buy it.

    Are these air vest companies trying to do something like that? Obviously they cannot judge an impact by looking at the vest like you can a helmet, but are they even interested in looking at videos of falls to see if the vest deployed as designed?

    Could they somehow get data from the thing? The Mythbusters use those impact thingys (sorry, I am not schience geek) to tell what kind of impact their dummy sustained when they throw it off a building or blow it up or whatever. Could they use something like that?

    Are they taking any interest at all after the sale of the vest to see if the thing worked properly? Or do they just wash their hands of it once it is sold?

    Obviously I haven't bought one yet. I am still on the fence--um, er, the horse!



  20. #80
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    Are these air vest companies trying to do something like that? Obviously they cannot judge an impact by looking at the vest like you can a helmet, but are they even interested in looking at videos of falls to see if the vest deployed as designed?
    They seem to have no compunction about using videos of falls to promote the vests. So someone is watching them. I'm not sure how many employees are dedicated to research vs. marketing, though.
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