Published on February 8th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Deep Vein Thrombosis Risk From Flights Overstated, Experts Say
Being a woman of childbearing-avoidance age and thusly exposed often to things like the birth control pill, there’s always a creeping fear you’ll collapse in the luggage area from an economy class-related blood clot, as we’ve been hearing is possible for years.
In fact, it was posited by the coroner that Heavy D’s sudden death may have been in part due to his long-haul flight from London to Los Angeles the day before he collapsed at his California home and died. But experts are now saying that the risk of dying from sitting in a cramped seat on an overbooked flying bus is minimal, and that the few incidents that do occur following flights are actually down to not getting up and moving around on airplanes. (The mile high club. It saves lives.)
Dr. Gordon Guyatt is chairman of an American College of Chest Physicians’ committee, and he helped author new guidelines on preventing deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. The risk of an incident is one per 1,000 each year, and the risk doubles with long-haul flights. DVT can also occur on trains and buses on long journeys, and calf exercises and short walks are recommended periodically to reduce the risk.