A study conducted by the UK Department for Transport on the health disturbances associated with long hours of travel has now revealed that the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) could be greater among long distance travelers.
The study represents the most comprehensive data published correlating DVT and travel. The risk of DVT was found to be greater with any form of travel, probably due to the immobility for a prolonged period during travel.
'This important research project has shown that DVT can occur in any form of travel where people remain seated for a long time,' said transport minister Karen Buck. A critical examination of air passengers health status showed that one episode of DVT was manifested for every 6000 journeys that lasted for more than 4 hours.
The risk of developing DVT however was comparatively much higher among inpatients in a hospital than those who traveled. The study had been initiated after the dismissal of an appeal for compensation, by victims of DVT, following air travel.
The petitioner had appealed to Britain's highest court, Lords, to reconsider the decision of the Appeal Court, which had stated that developing DVT couldn't be considered an accident. It was further concluded that the Airlines Company would not have to accept legal responsibility for the case, as DVT does not satisfy the legal definition of an accident under the 1929 Warsaw Convention on which all the airline regulations are based.
A four-year legal chase by the victim and other family members finally ended up in favor of the Airline Company. At least with such studies highlighting the ill health effects of long travel, may be it is time to reframe or amend the existing regulations regarding travel and tourism.