Air Quality Contributes To DVT
Long thought to be caused by the economically successful but ergonomically disastrous economy-class seating in many airliners, deep vein thrombosis is also brought on by the thin air provided passengers, scientists have discovered. The leaner oxygen content in the 8,000-foot cabin pressure maintained in most airliners caused an increase in the level of thrombin, the marker that signifies clotting activity. Clotting, particularly in the large veins in passengers legs', can lead to tissue damage and even death if the clots break free and enter the lungs. The study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, was commissioned by the World Health Organization and done by Dutch scientists from two medical centers. In the trial, 71 people were first asked to sit, airline style, on the ground, watching movies and generally behaving as if they were on an eight-hour flight. The same people were then put on airplanes for eight hours and the levels of thrombin compared. Since the only differing factor was the lower pressure and oxygen level during the flight, the scientists deduced that the air quality was a factor in clot production. British Airways said in a statement that it appreciates the efforts of the scientists but it didn't say it would increase the oxygen level on its airplanes. "We welcome research into deep vein thrombosis and look forward to reading this paper in full. We encourage passengers to remain active during a flight," an airline spokesman told the Daily Telegraph.