Medicine: Survival on One Foot

A student paratrooper stepped into space, 700 ft. over Britain. The plane zipped away at 80 m.p.h. The paratrooper counted, pulled the ripcord—continued to fall like a stone. His chute did not open properly. The 154 Ib. paratrooper plummeted the 700 ft. in 10 seconds, hit the earth at 50 m.p.h.

Surprised stretcher-bearers found him barely conscious, but showing no fractures or paralysis. Dumfounded doctors gave him morphine and atropine to ease his pain and keep him quiet. In a few minutes he was so restless that his arms and legs had to be strapped to the stretcher. X-rays showed that he...

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