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Journal Examines DVT Dangers

June 23, 2005
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The prolonged immobility of flight passengers during long-haul air travel increases the risk of developing blood clots, which can prove fatal, especially to people whose travel occurs just prior to major surgery, medical researchers report in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The formation of a blood clot within one of the large, deep veins of the pelvis or lower limbs - often in the deep veins of the calf, thigh, knee or pelvis - is referred to as deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). A pulmonary embolism can form when the blood clot breaks into smaller pieces, floats in the blood, and becomes lodged in the blood vessels supplying the lungs, which may result in sudden death.

The authors recommend that patients traveling long distances prior to major surgery be told of the potential for increased risk.

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