ROLLER COASTERS' SAFETY SUPPORTED BY UNIVERSITY STUDY RESEARCHERS SAY RIDES DON'T RAISE RISK OF BRAIN INJURIES.Byline: Daily News Staff and Wire Services
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, - Officials at Magic Mountain said Wednesday they felt vindicated by study results that claim roller coasters While there have been hundreds of different roller coasters built, there have been just a few that were notable for specific reasons. Some reasons include:
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (body, education) University of Pennsylvania - The home of ENIAC and Machiavelli.
Address: Philadelphia, PA, USA. who studied data from rides at three parks, roller coasters simply do not produce enough ``head rotational acceleration'' to cause either bleeding or swelling of the brain.
``This isn't news to us; it's what we've known all along,'' said Andy Gallardo, spokesman for the Valencia theme park. ``There's no medical evidence linking brain injuries to roller coasters.''
Six Flags California's Magic Mountain is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in May by the family of Pearl Santos, a 28-year-old woman who died in June 2001 shortly after riding the Goliath coaster.
An investigation of the incident later that year by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) enforces the U.S. state of California's occupational and public safety laws and provides information and consultative assistance to employers, workers, and the public regarding workplace safety and health found that Goliath was operating properly and blamed Santos' fatal aneurysm aneurysm (ăn`yrĭzəm), localized dilatation of a blood vessel, particularly an artery, or the heart. burst on a pre-existing brain condition.
The matter of a pre-existing condition is an important one for those who believe that the high acceleration rates and G-forces - what coaster riders feel during sudden up-and-down movements and when they are whipped around corners - pose a genuine threat to riders.
While the study found that the coasters produced accelerations to the head nine times less than what would be required to cause torn blood vessels Blood vessels
Tubular channels for blood transport, of which there are three principal types: arteries, capillaries, and veins. Only the larger arteries and veins in the body bear distinct names. in the brain, and 18 times less than the force required to cause brain swelling brain swelling
A localized or generalized increase in the bulk of brain tissue due to congestion or edema. , critics allege the recent study ignores the estimated five percent of the population living with an undiagnosed aneurysm.
``Certain blood vessels are weak enough that when (the person) goes out on a coaster it allows that vessel to balloon out and bleed,'' said Barry Novack, an attorney representing the Santos family and others who are suing theme parks after losing a loved one on a ride.
``It's not really the G-forces; the key is the rate of change of acceleration, or the jerk rate, like you have with shaken baby syndrome Shaken Baby Syndrome Definition
Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a collective term for the internal head injuries a baby or young child sustains from being violently shaken. ,'' Novack said. ``By ignoring the people who do have pre-existing conditions, they're trying to skew (1) The misalignment of a document or punch card in the feed tray or hopper that prohibits it from being scanned or read properly.
(2) In facsimile, the difference in rectangularity between the received and transmitted page. the jury pool.''
Politicians and consumer advocates have long questioned the safety of coasters, citing more than a dozen reports of brain injuries since 1979, most of them since 1990.
Reports of theme park fatalities in recent years have led to state and federal legislation. On Oct. 1, New Jersey became the first state to limit the gravitational grav·i·ta·tion
a. The natural phenomenon of attraction between physical objects with mass or energy.
b. The act or process of moving under the influence of this attraction.
2. forces, or G-forces, of amusement park rides. And U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., has proposed legislation that would subject roller coasters to federal oversight.
Dr. Douglas H. Smith, co-author of the study appearing in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of Neurotrauma, said such measures are the result of misleading information.
``Looking at the absolute maximum head acceleration, we found that (roller coaster) numbers were nowhere near known thresholds for brain injuries,'' said the Penn neuroscientist, who, with Penn colleague David F. Meaney, examined data from three coasters across the country with high G-forces.
The researchers also said that too much has been made of the effect of G-forces on riders' brains, claiming that while a coaster such as Face/Off, at Paramount's Kings Island near Cincinnati, can produce a G-force of 5, simply plopping into an easy chair can produce a G-force of eight to 10. But Robert J. Braksiek, an Iowa physician who co-wrote a study of roller coaster injuries in the January issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine The Annals of Emergency Medicine is a peer-reviewed medical journal. It is the official journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). See also
, said the new research fails to account for injuries reported in the medical literature.
``Roller coasters do cause brain injury, and that fact can't be debated,'' he said. ``Although rare, it does happen.''
Dr. Toshio Fukutake, co-author of a study contending that roller coasters were responsible for four cases of otherwise healthy patients developing bleeding on the brain, also disagreed with the findings. He noted that there are much faster coasters than the ones in the current study.
``We need more research using a real human model on the bigger and faster machines,'' he said via e-mail.
But Smith, whose research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. , said there hasn't been a single study showing definitively that amusement park rides cause brain injuries. He called reports to the contrary ``anecdotal.''
Gallardo, spokesman for Magic Mountain, agreed with Smith.
``We've been open since 1971; we've given 300 million safe coaster rides,'' he said. ``We're not aware of any brain injuries caused by our rides.''
(1 -- color) Riders enjoy a spin on X, one of the roller coasters at Magic Mountain. Coasters were vindicated on Wednesday, Magic Mountain officials said, by a report clearing the rides of blame in brain injuries.
David R. Crane/Staff Photographer
(2 -- color) Coaster fans ride the Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press