The Government is circulating advice on the dangers of deep vein thrombosis
to regular travellers.
Advice outlining the risks of the condition, its symptoms and what can be
done to prevent it has been made available through NHS Direct, the Internet, and
health services, says the Department of Health.
In particular, it outlines the type of in-flight exercises passengers can do
to avoid developing the blood clotting condition, which can occur when people
are immobile for long periods of time.
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Pat Troop said, "Although further
research needs to be carried out into the links between DVT and long distance
travel, we have issued the most up-to-date information and advice to the
airlines and public about minimising the risk of DVT during long
It recommends that those who have had a DVT or pulmonary embolism obtain
medical advice before they travel.
People with a family history of clotting conditions, with thrombophilia or
cancer, those who have undergone major surgery in the three months prior to
travelling and anyone who has suffered a stroke are also advised to seek
DVT is also more common in women who are pregnant, have recently had a baby,
are taking the contraceptive pill or are on hormone replacement therapy.
Women with any of these conditions should also seek advice from their
community pharmacist, antenatal team or health visitor before flying, says the
Department of Health.