Aircrew Health and Safety
Venous Thromboembolic Disease: Risk for Passengers and Aircrew?
By Nicholas Lomangino, MD
Although venous thromboembolic disease during air travel is the focus of recent attention, lack of activity such as a long car, bus, train ride, sitting in the theatre or long hours at a desk are all causes of prolonged immobilization. However, review of the literature indicates that most cases of VTE seem to be associated with an underlying disorder. Clinicians and the public at large should focus on existing medical conditions in addition to immobilization and be aware of measures to reduce the risk of VTE.
Recent concerns in the global news have again raised an issue about the association of thromboembolic disease and air travel. The association of venous thromboembolic disease (VTE) and inactivity was first described in persons sleeping on deck chairs in bomb shelters during the London blitz of WWII. In 1954, John Homans (1) reported several cases of venous thrombosis involving restricted activity. more...