this condition has been reported in the media over the last few years,
especially with the increase in long distance travel and several high profile
court cases. DVT is a condition where blood clots develop in the deep veins of the
legs obstructing the flow of blood. In
some situations, the blood clot can cause death if it travels through the
bloodstream to another organ, such as the lung (pulmonary embolus).
of immobility and lack of exercise in cramped seating conditions are factors
that make DVT more likely to occur.
This, of course, is not unique to air travel. Passengers seated in cars, buses and trains are also at risk. Although the cramped conditions often found
in economy class seats has given rise to the name “Economy Class Syndrome,” DVT
can affect passengers in premium cabins as well.
addition to immobility some individuals are more at risk to DVT, such as those
that are dehydrated. The circulating air in aircraft cabins is kept dry, and
this can lead to passengers becoming significantly dehydrated. Consumption of
alcohol before or during the flight will worsen this. Some passengers may be
flying from areas that have a hot and arid climate and may be dehydrated on
boarding the plane. Others may be dehydrated as a result of contracting a bout
of traveler’s diarrhea.
risk factors include: age (over 40), previous DVT or family history of blood
clots, recent surgery or injury, pregnancy, oral contraception, hormone
replacement medication, cardio-respiratory disease and other chronic illnesses
including malignancy. Those persons with three or more of the above risk
factors should discuss additional protective measures with their doctors.
there are some cases where there are no signs or symptoms of DVT the most
common symptoms can include: swelling of the leg, warmth and redness of the leg
and pain that is noticeable or worse when standing or walking.
preventative measures against DVT include:
stretching and mobility exercises and if possible walking around the cabin
during the flight.
sufficient fluids such as water or juice.
loose fitting comfortable clothes when traveling.
individuals that have any of the additional risk factors previously mentioned,
you may want to talk to your doctor before traveling about these other
low dose aspirin to inhibit blood clotting.
of compression stockings. These are available at some pharmacies.
to News Articles
U.S. High Court Ruling May Revive Airline Lawsuits,
Fri Mar 12, 2004, By Gina Keating, LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Passengers suing
airlines because they developed blood clots on long flights got a boost from a
recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that broadens the definition of in-flight
accidents, legal experts said on Friday…
of Hospital Medicine Works With Public Health Leaders to Mark the Nation's
First Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month, PHILADELPHIA,
March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), in conjunction
with the newly formed Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis, has designated
March as the first Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month as part of a
public health initiative to educate healthcare professionals and consumers
about this life-threatening but preventable medical condition. Sharing her own
personal experience with DVT, award-winning actress and singer Lainie Kazan
stars in both radio and television public service announcements urging a more
proactive approach in preventing DVT…
Long Flights And Thrombosis, By SUSAN GILBERT,
February 29, 2004 -- THREE days after flying from Pittsburgh to Charleston,
S.C., for spring break six years ago, Cynthia Kos, then 19, began having
crushing pains in her chest and left leg. The leg swelled and turned purple.
Because she was a fit collegiate volleyball player who rarely got sick, she
could not imagine what was happening.
Aviation Health Institute DVT Fact File
British Airways Traveller's thrombosis (DVT)
British United Provident Association DVT fact sheet
WebMD Deep Leg Vein Thrombosis