In flight health
Deep Vein Thrombosis
It has been reported that some airline passengers have developed clots in deep blood vessels, often in the lower legs, as a result of sitting for an extended period without exercise or movement. This condition is known medically as Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.
If blood clot fragments break off and lodge in other areas of the body such as lungs, they may cause a possible fatal pulmonary thrombosis when a person starts walking after being immobile for a long time.
The risk factors of DVT include varicose veins, recent surgery or injury in the lower legs, malignant diseases, past history of DVT, obesity, pregnancy and recent childbirth.
Anyone with these risk factors is advised to consult a medical practitioner prior to flying to find out how to minimise the risk to DVT.
During the flight, we recommend passengers take the following precautions:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water and minimise intake of alcohol
- Exercise on board the aircraft by moving and stretching your toes, rotating your ankles, raising and lowering each leg and massaging your calves gently. In addition, we suggest that you avoid crossing your legs.
Government regulations strictly prohibit smoking on all domestic flights. Smoking is also prohibited on Airnorth international flights. Special smoke detectors have been fitted to the toilets on board all aircraft. Smoking is prohibited on the tarmac and throughout airport terminal buildings.