deep vein thrombosis syndrome (DVT)
formation of blood clots in the vein of the lower limbs is known as “deep vein
thrombosis”. It occurs in subjects who lead a very sedentary life and sit in
the same position, as when you are flying, for lengthy periods of time. The term
'traveller's thrombosis' is to be encouraged instead of 'economy class syndrome'.
More research is required to quantify the precise risk, but the risk does appear
to be small and largely confined to those with recognised risk factors, which
include previous episode of thrombosis, previous leg traumas, hormonal therapy (Pill),
recent surgery, malignancy and pregnancy. In addition, genetic factors and
haematological abnormalities can predispose to thrombosis. Such thrombophilic
disorders include the factor V Leiden mutation and deficiencies of natural
anticoagulants such as antithrombin, protein C and protein S. Other biological
risk factors such as hyperlipidemia, hypofibrinolysis and hemorheological
alterations can be involved. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in legs and lungs is a
potentially life-threatening condition. The incidence of VTE associated with air
travel is still not well known, but it may have increased. Most travelers who
develop symptoms do so within 24 hours after their flight takes off.
Predisposing risk factors may be divided into patient-related and cabin-related
factors. It is emphasized that better information and better inflight
precautions can minimize these risk factors.
has been shown that low-dose
heparin prophylaxis not only lowered the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis
without severely augmenting the risk of bleeding, but also significantly reduced
the frequency of fatal pulmonary embolism. Therefore it is suggested that the
administration of low-dose subcutaneous heparin should become a routine
prophylactic measure in patients with high risk of DVT.
tips for preventing DVT syndrome:
For those with no
known predisposing factors:
those at moderate risk as above, plus:
press left arrow in your browser for previous page