In this section I plan to describe a few of the medical problems I
have heard about in Bungee. In Bungee you are subjecting your body to
a lot of strange forces that don't normally occur in nature so it is
little wonder that some medical people are concerned about the
effects. I personally have had no problems during or after a jump. I
recently developed a bad back which I was worried about. My doctor
said it was all to do with my bad posture and Bungee Jumping would be
good for it as it is very similar to traction! Great News.
One case I heard about was a jumper turned temporarily blind after
doing a jump. The explanation was that the blood vessels in the retina
had burst under the pressure and caused blindness. I believe the
jumpers sight returned to normal after a few days though.
I have since heard this condition was reported in the medical
journal The Lancet after someone did a study into the medical
dangers of Bungee. This was the only problem they could find. Other
activities which can cause the problem involve lifting heavy weights
and having a dump.
Recently I was mailed by a guy who said his friend suffered from
this very problem. His case wasn't so severe and he was only afflicted
with blurred vision which cleared up after a week or so.
This picture is from Stijn's Website
where he describes that his doctor thought that the condition was more
likely if you scream
I have also since found out that this problem is more likely to
occur if you are Drunk - don't drink and jump!
From: Kate Carstairs
I read your medical problems with bungee page, and believe that I
can shed some more light on the temporary blindness problems. These
are usually caused by an increased pressure within the eye during a
bungee. Sometimes a blood vessle bursts, and this can clear up after
a while. However, there may be more serious implications. If the
burst blood vessle is near or in the retina (the part in the eyeball
that collects light and allows us to see), then the retina can become
partially or totally detached. The symptoms will range from
"floaters" in the visual field to partial or total loss of sight.
There are operations which can repair the damage, however, they are
uncomfortable for a long while afterwards, and eyesight is very rarely
restored to its original quality.
I received this story from
Arboleda recently and have included his message below
Here in Columbia Bungee is very popular, but people don't know the
consequences of this activity. I love Bungee and I searched the web
for interesting things related with this sport, and when I saw your
page of Bungee disasters, I read it. I'm writing to tell you about a
young Colombian boy.
Juan Pablo was in Oregon (USA) 2 years ago, and he did a Bungee
jump, at the time everything was perfect, except for a little pain,
but he didn't pay to much attention, a few days in home and that's
Five months after this he began to feel a little annoyance and he
started to limp. A fracture in the osseous affected the femur because
of bad blood circulation in this area.
Here in Bogota and in Cali many doctors saw him and everyone said
that these is a case of "Necrosis Avascular" (very serious) the fifth
in the world, and some doctors exposed these case in France.
Today Juan Pablo is 36 years old and he has to use crutches for the
rest of his live.
And moreover we hear many cases like this, other one is a boy that
today finds it impossible to move his arms and legs (quadriplegia) and
many other testimonies of the danger for Bungee practice.
Mill Spec cords bad for you?
This from Macho: and is related to
both of the above
Sometime 1991. Mill-specs Cord used from UK that stretches
less than 3 times. They are not very feasable for Bungie. Mill-specs
are forbidden for public use in Germany, they are have been incidents
where the lens of the pupil in the eye have loosened due to the shock,
as well as a woman had her hip dislocated due to a jump on
mill-specs. Normally mill-specs in the way they are put together
doesn't stretch more than a mere 150%.
The following is a slightly edited version of what was posted to alt.urban.legend by Malinda McCall in
1994. I found it on the now defunct The Urban Legends Website.
Malinda kindly gave me permission to reproduce her information
Subject: Is Bungee jumping dangerous?
Yes and no.
Given that there are several articles available detailing
bungee-related injuries, yes.
Given that we don't know the percentages of safe vs. unsafe jump
sites and safe vs. reported & documented injuries, probably not.
True: bungee jumping has injured some folks.
Medline to the rescue again:
- Simons, R. Krol, J.
- Visual loss from bungee jumping.
LANCET. 1994, Apr 2. V343(8901). P 853.
- Habib, NE. Malik, TY.
- Visual loss from bungee jumping.
LANCET. 1993, Feb 19. V343(8895). P 487.
- Torre PR. et al.
- Bungee jumper's foot drop peroneal nerve palsy caused by bungee
ANNALS OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE. 1993 Nov. V22(11). P 1766-7.
- Hite PR et al.
- Injuries resulting from bungee-cord jumping.
ANNALS OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE. 1993 June. V22(6). P 1060-3.
- Harries, M.
- The ups and downs of bungee jumping [editorial].
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1992 Dec 19-26. V305(6868). P 1520.
- A 19-year-old woman sustained a nonfatal hanging injury.
- A 28-year-old man sustained a unilateral loced facet with
- "To date there have been five recorded deaths world wide, and
four critical injuries." --1994.
- An 18-year-old woman presented with loss of central vision in
both eyes after a bungee jump.
- "As expected, subjective ratings on anxiety and stress increased
prior to the jump (and were markedly reduced after the jump)."
- "No previous report of (peroneal nerve injury) in bungee-cord
Realise that you stand a risk of being injured if you bungee jump.
Note also that this is a NEW sport and that absence of recorded
injury does NOT mean the sport is safe, only that up until now very
few injuries have been attributed SOLELY to bungee-cord jumping and
discussed in medical journals. Try it at your own risk, and ask
your doctor first. :)
Best case scenario: You succeed in leaping off a tall place and
have no injuries and impress your wuss friends who aren't inclined
to risk their necks after watching that guy hurt himself on
"America's Funniest Home Videos" or whatever. (The guy who
discovered too late that the cord was [a] too long and [b] not
strong enough to zap him back up due to his weight and [c] not
attached properly to his body.)(He lived.)
Worst case scenario: You jump and manage to suffer vision
loss, nearly hang yourself, become paralysed, suffer stress and
anxiety, then die as you fall off the cord. Your wuss friends are not
impressed. Your tombstone says, "HECK! That doesn't look dangerous to
ME." Your screams echo for a while, a doctor names your symptoms after
himself and gets rich and famous, your parents are bummed, you cat
runs away and is never seen again.
Note also, that since bungee-jumping is so new, people could be
sustaining injuries that either will show up later on and annoy
them in their old age or which are cumulative.
I was going to make a crack about evolution and survival of the
fittest, but I'm a wuss and wouldn't leap off a tall thing with a
bungee cord attached to me for a LOT of money, so I need to hush up
and let some folks who WOULD, except that it is unsafe, speak their
I really like the best case and worse case scenarios :-)
Please remember this was written a few years ago and the sport has
increased in safety a lot since then. I made this list and yet I still
jump as often as possible. Of course the decision is yours.
I recently found these Bungee Medical Links.