Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition of clotting of the blood in the lower legs. There have been many reports in the press regarding 'economy class syndrome' amongst people during or following long airline flights. This term is misleading as anybody seated for long periods such as in theatres, cars, trains, etc. and in first class as well as economy travel, could experience deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Traveller's thrombosis is a more accurate term.
Research indicates there is susceptibility for some individuals to develop DVT.
- Increasing age.
- Previous DVT.
- Hormone treatment.
- Recent surgery.
- Family history of DVT.
- Abnormalities of blood clotting factors.
- Recent trauma involving lower limbs.
- Certain forms of cardiac surgery.
- Additional factors of obesity, tobacco smoking and varicose veins have also been implicated.
How to avoid the risk of DVT when flying (or travelling by train, etc.)
- Drink adequate fluids - water is best.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Restrict intake of caffeine drinks (tea, coffee).
- Walk around the cabin whenever you can.
- Do not cross your legs when seated.
- Stand up at your seat and stretch arms and legs.
- Do foot and leg exercises while seated.
- Wear loose fitting clothes.
- Avoid smoking.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRAVELING IF YOU ARE IN ANY OF THE RISK CATEGORIES
Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns regarding your health particularly if planning overseas flights especially if you have a previous history of DVT or risk factors.
Contact Occupational Health and Safety:
- telephone: 990 51014
- facsimile: 990 53098
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org