John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo
Blood Clots, Air Travel, Airplane Flights
Cardiovascular Diseases | Medical Pathology | Nursing
Traveling long distances can be very stressful on the body. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has often been linked to long air flights or long distance travel in a vehicle. DVT is a blood clot usually formed in the legs. Economy Class Syndrome (ECS) has been referred to as the formation of a DVT occurring during (or just after) a long airplane flight, especially in economy class where there is the least space allotted per passenger and one’s legs especially tend to be immobilized for lack of leg room (MedicineNet, 2012). Developing a DVT can lead to other life-threatening illnesses such as venous thromboembolism , pulmonary embolism, or myocardial infarction. There are many destinations in the world that require many hours of travel. The flights required to get there could account for eight or more hours in an airplane. Prolonged travel with inactivity of greater than 3 hours can lead to DVT formation (Codina-Leik, 2014). It is not uncommon in one’s medical career to cross path’s with a patient who has developed a DVT during long distance travel. It is important for an advanced practitioner along with colleagues to identify patients who may have an increased risk for DVT especially those who may embark on long distance travel or who are experiencing symptoms after travel.
Perkins, Troy, "DVT and Economy Class Syndrome" (2014). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship. Paper 58.