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Convention Meeting--Clinical Perspective on Air Vests--EMSA Committee

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  • #61
    I think EMSA is still trying to develop a full-on mission. At least that is what I got from looking at both the past website and listening this weekend.

    It is also where I see EMSA can become the entity of equestrian safety equipment (all types) understanding. And hence my comments during the seminar and discussion after. The EMSA as an entity is the right thing. Now it comes to making it the right time.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by La Chasse View Post
      Btw- saw your name attached to EMSA multiple times- do u mind if I PM you to ask your role with them and other related info about what joining entails?
      You are welcome to PM me, but I have no connection with them other than attending their presentaions at the USEA meeting.
      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).

      Comment


      • #63
        Oh ok. Apparently I'm having absence seizures when I read the forums & am missing things.
        And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."

        Comment


        • #64
          I was at the talk as well, and I agree that billing it as a 'clinical' discussion was a bit of a reach. I do have a few thoughts about a lot of the information I've found here, however (and I fully realize I'm a couple of years late to the discussion, my apologies in advance for any repetition):

          -I agree that the standards do not reflect a comprehensive assessment of injury mitigation or risk reduction, and that limits the applicability of test results. None of the protective vests (passive or active) can say with certainty that a given fall would have been more or less injurious. The lack of research and controls confound the problem at this point. Although my field deals in instrumentation and test design, and I love the thought of fitting every rider with an instro pack, I suspect that the small sample sizes make this an almost unsolvable problem, no matter the incentives for self reporting of falls.

          -That being said, the community has agree on some standards for existing level 1,2,3 body protectors, all relating to energy dissipation and transferred force. In identical tests, the air vests have demonstrated increased protection. While that may not be directly applicable to injury prevention, it appears to be an 'apples-to-apples' look, and shows a benefit to the air systems.

          -There has been a lot of mention of 'high velocity deployment'. At the end of the day, the vests are inflating to between 5-6 psi. That is the most force they can impart - a little more than a blood pressure cuff. More energy is just spread out over a higher surface area. Assuming 12x18" coverage, front and back, that is about 2400lbs before the vest is defeated and the airbag is pressed flat with localized higher pressure.

          -I agree that an air vest, which requires a proper deployment to provide protection, is not a 'fail-safe' design and cannot replace the passive vest. Similarly, air bags will not replace seat belts. I personally trust my life to aircraft ejection seats which are also 'fail-dangerous' systems, and although I know of at least two incidents due to improper functioning, on the balance they add far more safety than risk. To each their own, and I know they're not the same thing, but active safety systems are not automatically inferior.

          I look forward to the EMSA continuing to collect and process equestrian injury data. Hopefully, a few years from now many of these issues will have the data to make real determinations.

          Chris

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by CGentile View Post
            -That being said, the community has agree on some standards for existing level 1,2,3 body protectors, all relating to energy dissipation and transferred force. In identical tests, the air vests have demonstrated increased protection. While that may not be directly applicable to injury prevention, it appears to be an 'apples-to-apples' look, and shows a benefit to the air systems.
            Several good points here. I am most interested/concerned by the possibility of the vests making injuries worse. If we were to only investigate that question, it's a problem that's quite a bit simpler, to simulate certain kinds of broken bones and then consider in what instances the pressure of an air vest would be harmful. At that point, it's easier to discuss if there are ways to mitigate that or if it's just a decision to be weighed by the rider.

            To me the most obvious issues are cervical or rib injuries, particularly where the injury occurs and then the vest inflates after. Trying just a handful of scenarios might make the next questions more obvious, and might not be that expensive.

            5-6 psi is actually quite a bit of force over enough area.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by CGentile View Post
              I was at the talk as well, and I agree that billing it as a 'clinical' discussion was a bit of a reach. I do have a few thoughts about a lot of the information I've found here, however (and I fully realize I'm a couple of years late to the discussion, my apologies in advance for any repetition):

              -I agree that the standards do not reflect a comprehensive assessment of injury mitigation or risk reduction, and that limits the applicability of test results. None of the protective vests (passive or active) can say with certainty that a given fall would have been more or less injurious. The lack of research and controls confound the problem at this point. Although my field deals in instrumentation and test design, and I love the thought of fitting every rider with an instro pack, I suspect that the small sample sizes make this an almost unsolvable problem, no matter the incentives for self reporting of falls.

              -That being said, the community has agree on some standards for existing level 1,2,3 body protectors, all relating to energy dissipation and transferred force. In identical tests, the air vests have demonstrated increased protection. While that may not be directly applicable to injury prevention, it appears to be an 'apples-to-apples' look, and shows a benefit to the air systems.

              -There has been a lot of mention of 'high velocity deployment'. At the end of the day, the vests are inflating to between 5-6 psi. That is the most force they can impart - a little more than a blood pressure cuff. More energy is just spread out over a higher surface area. Assuming 12x18" coverage, front and back, that is about 2400lbs before the vest is defeated and the airbag is pressed flat with localized higher pressure.

              -I agree that an air vest, which requires a proper deployment to provide protection, is not a 'fail-safe' design and cannot replace the passive vest. Similarly, air bags will not replace seat belts. I personally trust my life to aircraft ejection seats which are also 'fail-dangerous' systems, and although I know of at least two incidents due to improper functioning, on the balance they add far more safety than risk. To each their own, and I know they're not the same thing, but active safety systems are not automatically inferior.

              I look forward to the EMSA continuing to collect and process equestrian injury data. Hopefully, a few years from now many of these issues will have the data to make real determinations.

              Chris
              The thing that scares me about the airvest is that there's as much anectdotal evidence of airvests making things worse (spooking horses, failing to release, etc.) as there is of them saving someone from serious injury (and a lot of the positive anecdotal evidence has been proven false by video). People walked away from rotationals before air vests and attributed it to luck/providence. Now they attribute it to their sponsor.

              I accept that they may do a better job than a conventional vest at dissipating force. But they have a lot of potential negatives beyond the mere possibility that they won't trigger. Whether those negatives outweigh the potential additional protection against bruising etc., I don't know. With the conventional vest, it's hard to imagine the situations in which they make things significantly worse.

              Point Two's egregious marketing tactics make me suspicious of anything they say.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by NCRider View Post
                The thing that scares me about the airvest is that there's as much anectdotal evidence of airvests making things worse (spooking horses, failing to release, etc.) as there is of them saving someone from serious injury (and a lot of the positive anecdotal evidence has been proven false by video). People walked away from rotationals before air vests and attributed it to luck/providence. Now they attribute it to their sponsor.

                I accept that they may do a better job than a conventional vest at dissipating force. But they have a lot of potential negatives beyond the mere possibility that they won't trigger. Whether those negatives outweigh the potential additional protection against bruising etc., I don't know. With the conventional vest, it's hard to imagine the situations in which they make things significantly worse.

                Point Two's egregious marketing tactics make me suspicious of anything they say.
                As the joke goes, "the plural of anecdote is not data." Speaking for myself, I don't know many people who have been involved in very serious falls, but know a few dozen who feel that an air vest has helped mitigate minor injuries and pain. I have not personally met anyone who has experienced a failure to release or other negative effect.

                I'm aware that I am probably demonstrating my own confirmation bias, but it's worth noting that that works both ways.

                As far as the noise of deployment, my most recent experience was watching our INCREDIBLY spooky 4yo stand there with a quizzical look on his face as my wife's vest deflated. Again, YMMV, but that was what I saw.

                I enjoyed the talk at the convention. I'm not a fan of extrapolating test data too far, so if ESMA becomes a clearinghouse for this kind of accident reporting I think that will eventually help answer these kind of questions. I'm excited to see where it goes.

                Chris
                Last edited by CGentile; Dec. 11, 2012, 07:18 PM. Reason: EDIT: grammer

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                  Several good points here. I am most interested/concerned by the possibility of the vests making injuries worse. If we were to only investigate that question, it's a problem that's quite a bit simpler, to simulate certain kinds of broken bones and then consider in what instances the pressure of an air vest would be harmful. At that point, it's easier to discuss if there are ways to mitigate that or if it's just a decision to be weighed by the rider.

                  To me the most obvious issues are cervical or rib injuries, particularly where the injury occurs and then the vest inflates after. Trying just a handful of scenarios might make the next questions more obvious, and might not be that expensive.

                  5-6 psi is actually quite a bit of force over enough area.
                  Agreed. Displaced fractures near "important" things (e.g. Spinal cord, brain stem, etc) are scary and can be
                  Life threatening. And I don't mean a grade 1 spondy (translation: relatively minor, minimally displaced lower lumbar spine fracture. No surgery required).
                  And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #69
                    I was wondering if the vests would work if they weren't tethered to the saddle but depended on the rider to pull the ripcord? Would there be time?
                    Would the rider have the reaction in time for the vest to inflate before rider hits the ground.
                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                    Thread killer Extraordinaire

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by CGentile View Post
                      Speaking for myself, I don't know many people who have been involved in very serious falls, but know a few dozen who feel that an air vest has helped mitigate minor injuries and pain. I have not personally met anyone who has experienced a failure to release or other negative effect.

                      Chris
                      Ditto. This forum is the only place I've heard of negative effects (and only on a general level), and I have talked with many who claim that the air vest cushioned their falls or actually prevented serious injury. We must remember that all of these data are anecdotal at this point in time.

                      The pressure of an air vest, when inflated, should not be very restrictive, unless one is using a tie-on pinny and ties it too tightly. With my fall, I felt restricted due to the pinny, not due to the air vest. I learned that tying the pinny loosely was necessary. The claim that an air vest could lead to further injury due to the restrictive nature of the inflated vest may apply to rare instances. My understanding is that the pressure should be less than a blood pressure cuff and less than fitted, belted breeches.

                      I could be totally off-base here. I am no expert, for sure.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Viney, having just been in a significant fall from a horse I was walking, my best guess would be "No time to react". But then I'm old...
                        They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

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