Deep vein thrombosis is a problem that is caused by pooling of blood in the vein, which triggers blood-clotting mechanisms. Anyone who sits for long periods of time in a vehicle, movie theater, or even an office desk may develop clumps of clotted blood in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, in the deep leg vein. It is a very serious condition that can cause permanent damage to the leg, known as post-thrombotic syndrome, or a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot (thrombosis) that forms in the deep vein system of the lower leg–usually between the ankle and the upper calf. The condition is serious, potentially fatal, and very difficult to diagnose by external examination. Checkout Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS) and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) for more info.
Deep vein thrombosis is a type of thrombophlebitis. However, it should not be confused with a less dangerous form of thrombophlebitis called superficial vein thrombosis (SVT or phlebitis). Deep vein thrombosis (DVT, also called venous thrombosis) is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body. The clot may partially or completely block blood flow through the vein. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, usually in the leg. Since blood in veins is returning to the lungs for oxygenation, the clot can be pushed into the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can result in partial or full restriction of blood supply to the lungs.
Symptoms include leg pain or swelling, tenderness of leg tissue, increased leg warmth and increase in redness. This most likely occurs only in one leg or extremity. Symptoms of DVT may include varicose veins, tenderness, pain, swelling, and redness in the affected limb. Other conditions that exhibit similar symptoms include skin infections in particular, and muscle strains.
Symptoms can appear several weeks after flights as short as three hours. Such clots have been reported after automobile trips and even after evenings at the theatre, but long flights seem to pose a greater risk.
Recent advances in endovascular technologies have led to the development of a variety of minimally invasive, catheter-based strategies to remove venous thrombus. These technologies utilize various mechanical principles, including catheter-directed thrombolytic infusion, rheolytic thrombectomy, mechanical fragmentation or ultrasound energy to remove intraluminal thrombus. Recent years, a symptom called economy-class syndrome This symptom may cause a blood circulation disorder such as thrombosis resultant from sitting on a narrow seat in an airplane for many hours without moving legs.
We recommend that people under taking lengthy travel plans try to stand occasionally and flex the leg muscles to assist the blood flow in the veins. In airplanes this can be difficult so flexing your ankles to assist blood flow back up the leg will reduce pooling problems. We also recommend compression stocking or socks for those who already have a venous condition as the gradient compression will also assist in continuing blood flow.