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Formation Of Blood Clots on Long Flights May Not Be Due To Cabin Environment

by Medindia Content Team on May 17, 2006 at 12:33 PM
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Formation Of Blood Clots on Long Flights May Not Be Due To Cabin Environment

The oft exclaimed ailment called economy class syndrome, that is associated with the formation of blood clots during long flights, may not be due to cabin environment, as it is thought to be, reveals a new study.

The finding supports the assessment that clots could form in healthy people, while sitting in cramped places, that cause a reduction in blood flow, especially in the legs, which lead to the formation of clots. This is perhaps the reason why travelers are advised to exercise their leg and calf muscles so that clots will not be formed.

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Long train trips are not spared, and passengers should adopt some movement for their limbs to avoid the formation of clots. Researchers at England's University of Leicester studied 73 healthy passengers who volunteered for this study. The volunteers were made to sit for 8hrs at a stretch, in a room that had air pressure and oxygen levels akin to the environment on commercial flights. The volunteers were allowed to move about for five minutes each hour. Pressure and oxygen levels were tested for the volunteers at ground level and blood tests were conducted before and after each of the tests.

The findings revealed, no major difference between the two tests relating to formation of clots or in the way endothelial cells behave. Though this problem has been called the "economy-class syndrome", the cases of people who have got ill because of clot formation have been reported from across cabin classes, according to the American Heart Association

Air travelers could do well to take in a lot of fluids, water mainly and certainly avoid alcohol during the flight.

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