Flying Creates Blood Clot Risk - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/22/06

Flying Creates Blood Clot Risk

You've probably heard about deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and you may now know that people can get these potentially dangerous blood clots when they don't get up and change positions during a long airline flight.

Researchers in England have confirmed that's the problem by ruling out other possible triggers, like low oxygen and air pressure levels during travel. At England's University of Leicester, they simulated the air pressure and oxygen levels in air travel, and they put the study volunteers in close quarters for eight hours at a time.

The study, which appears in the journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, did find some clotting changes in the blood not because of air pressure or oxygen levels but they say due to sitting still for so long.

So, the lesson is clear for whoever travels by air, road or rail. "Take care to exercise their legs, to stretch their legs whenever they can, particularly to extend and flex at the ankle and knee, and to stand up and walk around when they can," said Dr. William Toff of the University of Leicester.

Dr. Toff adds some people are pre-disposed to blood clots, so, if you're one of those, talk to your doctor before you travel.

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