Thursday, February 23, 2012

Say What?: Flight health

How fitting this post is compared to how recently Jared and I bought our second set of tickets to the beautiful paradise my parents are living in currently. We found some super great deal tickets through Delta for only $646 roundtrip per person which compared to how much we spent for our December tickets is literally half the price. Once semester is out we're off again for a little over two weeks. I can't wait!

But when I ran across this article a week ago I just had to report to you on it. It's important information for anyone that is planning on flying in the near future.

"Potentially dangerous blood clots in the legs known as deep venous thromboses (DVTs) got the nickname "economy class syndrome" from widely publicized incidents involving passengers on long-haul flights."

Symptoms of DVT's can be any of the following...
  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, which may occur only while standing or walking
  • Warmth in the skin of the affected leg
  • Red or discolored skin in the affected leg
  • Visible surface veins
  • Leg fatigue
And if a clot breaks free and travels to your lungs or makes it to your brain it can cause serious health complications including health attack, shortness of breath, seizures etc. 

If that doesn't make you worried I don't know what does. Of course health, age, pregnancy, elderly and previous clots all factor into the probability that one will be more inclined to develop a blood clot in your legs. However would you believe that so does where you sit on the plane? 

In fact studies have been done to show that those who sit in the aisle have a lower chance of developing a DVT in comparison to those who sit by the window or in the middle. This is because those who sit by the window are less likely to get up and move around on a long flight because they don't want to make everyone get out of their seats. Additionally those who sit by the window have less room in general to move around and thus are more likely to develop a DVT. 

So if you're going on any long flights, even if you sit by the window or the aisle, get up at least once or twice and try to keep readjusting your legs every once in a while.


Stephanie said...

I can believe the logic here. My dad had a blood clot in his leg (its hereditary, darn it) and so when we travel by car, he has to get out and walk around the car several times every few hours.

The Culbertson's said...

Yup know all about this. I try not to stress about and just be smart about it. Seeing as I'm getting ready to travel cross country on my own with my three girls 23 weeks pregnant. Some of the biggest things I've learned is to pack your smaller carry on so you can use it as a foot rest to keep your legs from pushing against the edge of the seat ( a problem for those of us with shorter legs) and to get out of the habit of crossing your legs! The instant the seatbelts light is off stand for at least 30 sec even try some shallow knee bends, cause you never know how long you'll get!