It is well known that passengers on long haul-flights may develop Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and the health risk increases when some of the risk factors are also present. Such as recent surgery below the hip, family history of blood clots, obesity, cigarette smoking, heart failure and cancer, to name a few. The name itself implies that there is a formation of blood clot (thrombus) in the deep veins in your body, usually in the legs.
Sitting still for a long period (not only in long-haul flights) is one of the reasons that DVT can develop and it is a serious condition because there’s a tendency that the clot/s will break off and it will travel through the bloodstream. This is where the biggest threat lies for it will lead to death in just a short period. There’s a bigger possibility that it will lodge or get stuck in the small blood vessels in your body like in the brain, lungs and heart thereby blocking the blood flow of those vital organs.
Recently, a young man age 20 died from pulmonary embolism based on the post-mortem results. He had a DVT that formed on his left calf before it moved to his lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. He previously has no underlying medical conditions but the big catch was – he is an Xbox addict and not a frequent long distance flyer. According to his father, his son would spend up to 12 hours playing on his Xbox.
Every computer or console gamers out there – beware of the health risks that it brought when you sit in the same position for a longer period or several hours. This goes also to long distance flyers or if you are travelling by car. Preventing the formation of clots is far easier than treating it and it is pretty common but usually not done or being ignored. All you need to do is to get up, walk around and get your legs moving to prevent blood clots and if you can’t then exercise your lower calf muscles.
The best exercises is to raise and lower your heels while keeping your toes on the floor then raise your toes while your heels are on the floor.
NB: Image from wikimedia commons.