Do you have a desk job or are you a frequent traveler who needs to spend hours sitting inside an aircraft? If so, you are at risk of being affected by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolisms (PE), two ailments that affects more than 350,000 people across the United States each year.
Dr. John K. Ratliff, a neurosurgeon and an associate professor of neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, has set himself the goal to make everyone aware of this condition and teach simple ways to prevent it.
Dr. Ratliff reveals that the United States reports more than 100,000 deaths from these diseases every year, which is considerably more than the number of people affected by AIDS and Breast Cancer together.
He says the main symptom of the ailment could be a feeling of fatigue. He recalls his own ailment where he rushed to the hospital to get a chest scan and blood test done, but found no problems with either. When he began experiencing calf pain again the next day is when he diagnosed himself with DVT.
In addition, he was found to be suffering from a severe PE, a disease that occurs when a blood clot breaks loose and moves through the stream to the lungs. It could often cause a life-threatening condition and needs immediate treatment.
Dr. Ratliff has since launched a DVT prevention campaign called Travel Healthy: Prevent DVTs that includes prevention posters and placards that he believes airline companies should display in all their in-flight communication.
He recommends that anyone who plans to fly should be aware of dehydration and practice some calf stretching exercises. In fact, he goes on to add that sitting at the same spot for any length of time could be as much of a risk factor as frequent flying.
Anyone who has a desk job or is a regular flyer needs to sit with their thighs clear of the edge of their seats to avoid pressure. They should not cross their legs at the ankles and knees and prefer loose fitting cloths and compression stockings. Elevating the feet on to a footrest is a good way to relax too.