Risks of travelling

Published: Tuesday 15 June 1999

Journeys by plane, car or train that last more than five hours lead to an increase in the risk of venous thrombo-embolic disease, the formation of blood clots or air bubbles in blood vessels. Emile Ferrari from the Hopital Pasteur, Nice, France, studied 160 patients who suffered with the above-mentioned disease. Ferrari found that most patients had made a long journey of an average five hours. No specific clot location was associated with travel, although clots were found mostly in the lower limbs or thighs. The prescription is simple and effective: exercise your legs regularly and keep the feet wet. People at minor risk can take aspirin before embarking upon a long journey ( Chest , Vol 115, No 2).

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