Over 6ft? DVT risk increases five-fold

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 29 Nov 2015
at 16:47

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  • Anonymous


    Following the shocking news of Jonah Lomu, there has been a fair amount of coverage about long haul trips and DVT. Now this – being over 6ft 6″ myself, was astounded that general risk increases more than 5 fold ….


    If you are over 6ft male or 5ft 6″ female and/or overweight the above contains good advice in preventing DVT and encourage you to take frequent walk-abouts while travelling long haul.

    …Individual risk of DVT ultimately amounts to the sum of a multitude of possible contributing factors – from pre-existing medical conditions, clotting disorders, medication, recent surgery or injury, to immobility, dehydration and the cramped seating conditions with which long haul air travellers are all too familiar….

    Safe travels.


    Thanks for raising this topic BigDog.

    A few years ago my Dad in his early 60s was rushed to intensive care with a pulmonary embolism after a 4-hour flight to the Canaries.

    He is under 6′, never smoked and has always been active.

    Obviously underlying conditions play a significant role, but when are airlines going to learn?

    For example, 3-4-3 on a B777 is just not on.


    How practical is the advice, regularly aired by the nationals, to take frequent walk-abouts when flying economy class.

    AC’s Y cabins on its high-density B777-300ERs provide hardly any space at all in Y class for those wishing to move around.



    Icenspice – 26/11/2015 18:42 GMT

    Quite agreed about the 3-4-3 on a 777. I don’t normally fly in Y but last weekend made a redemption flight RUH-DXB and it was awful, seat was uncomfortable and there was just no room, lucky my partner is small and was able to lean over her side!

    Then yesterday because Y was only available, experienced 3-3-3 on a 777 JED-RUH and what a difference. In these days of people getting bigger they are making seats more smaller and less comfort


    I find the way airlines pack people in is quite inhumane and am waiting for the first mega lawsuit by someon against an airline. Otherwise perhaps a government mandated minimum amount of legroom can be legislated for.

    I would be happy to pay 10% extra for 10% extra legroom and most people wouldn’t even know they’re paying 10% more in the first place!


    Animals are better protected than humans, in transit in so many countries.

    When DVT first started to get a lot of publicity a few years ago, the airlines seemed to hold their breath and issued bits of advice about “hydration” and “moving around”. This sounded like they were only trying to cover themselves legally.

    Now they seem to have relaxed and thought they got away with it. I too can’t wait for the first multinational mega-suit that the family of a passenger wins due to inhumane overcrowding and lack of space particularly on long haul.


    @ LuganoPirate – 26/11/2015 20:28 GMT

    I think it’s called Premium Economy/WT+! Let’s face it, to reflect the fact that the cost of basic “commodity” air travel has plummeted in real terms, so has the experience at the back in what ought now to be labelled “Cattle Class”. If you can only afford to travel Cattle Class, either be young and malleable with rubber legs and detachable knee joints – or just don’t fly.

    PE appears to be a notch up on the old Y experience whilst (long-haul) Business has improved out of all recognition and First is… still the preserve of a rather small minority. It does have to be said, you get what you pay for.


    Due my years of travel I am unfortunate enough to have had DVT twice, fortunately both times was in each calf muscle. And whilst it’s still a very dangerous condition if you have it below the knee there is less chance of it moving. It’s very painful, takes weeks of daily visits to the hospital to have your bloods checked, self-injecting warfarin for a couple of weeks, and then months of warfarin tablets.

    Even now years later I get really bad cramp in the calf muscles which are solid as a brick due the damage to them and have to take aspirin daily and double dose on travel days.

    Whatever you can do to avoid it do, it’s not just planes, just sitting at your office desk a long car or train journey are all factors. Be careful.


    someone i know got DVT a few years back and ended up collapsing and being rushed into hospital, it had gone to his lungs and doctors said he was very lucky not to have a stroke. He could not fly for 18 months and now can only do trips no longer than 8 hours, during which he must get up every 2 hours. this is where I find EK/QR etc planes very useful with the lounges/bar area, I only drink water or juice when flying but these areas are ideal to move around without annoying the hell out of other passengers


    I’m back on my hobby horse…..
    Just to add to Alex’s comment, imagine experiencing YYZ-HKG or YVR -SYD and paying through the nose for cramped conditions, even worse than AF’s high density Caribbean configuration !

    I posted on the AC news below, if you want to read the full article……


    But, I’ve copied and pasted my input below….
    By the way ,Bob Harris is AC’s manager in UK & Ireland

    I’m sure hoping Bob Harris might read this…

    As for me, I used to loyally promote your airline, and encourage people to choose AC over BA. But since I have a reputation to maintain, I can no longer do so without comprimising my integrity.

    So please can you answer my questions.

    You said… “And then we have the leisure passenger who also wants value for money and having that number of seats in economy allows the fare levels to be set at competitive levels.”

    Q1. As a leisure traveller would you rather pay £600pp to travel with Air Transat seat pitch of 32” & 17” wide or £1097pp with a seat pitch of 31” & 17” wide?

    Q2. Are you willing to travel with your family from YVR to SYD or YYZ to HKG in “Y” on this aircraft?

    Q3. Assuming that you friends value your opinion, would you recommend your cattle class as value for money to your friends?

    You said… “The experience, we’re finding, and the feedback we’re getting from customers, is very positive and that’s very good news.”

    Q4. Do you think using a world class facility like T2 at LHR properly prepares your unsuspecting passengers for the cramped conditions they are going to experience on board?

    Q5. On another thread I commented on the possibility of an airline executive being prosecuted for corporate manslaughter, not to dissimilar to the tobacco companies. So, based on the known health issues linked to cramming people into a confined cabin space for a prolonged period of time, would you be prepared to be that exec?

    IMO, if your offering less than a charter airline in comfort levels, then have the decency to charge charter prices and ensure people know upfront they’re going to be flying on an aircraft that is configured worse than a charter airline… Oh and at least have the humanity to install more toilets to accommodate the extra poor souls your about to torture across the pole!!


    I agree Anthony, and here’s my point. Governments (especially, but not limited to, the EU) impose so many regulations to keep us safe and healthy from rules regarding conkers, food to safety features in cars that I’m surprised they have not yet legislated in this regard, especially as there are more and more cases involving DVT after airline travel. Precisely because it rarely hits you during travel, so you’re not dying on the plane, that it gets much less publicity than it deserves.

    I’ve not experienced PE other than a mock up Lufthansa had at Malpensa airport whilst promoting it just after its introduction, and it reminded me of long haul travel in Economy in the 70’s and early 80’s. Quite comfortable and more than enough legroom for someone just over 6’1″.

    As for airline advice to move around during flight, if just 10% of the pax did this there would be chaos and pandemonium, especially so in single aisle aircraft, and if done over US airspace would probably get the plane diverted and them arrested, so it really is not practical advice and one the airline would probably react in horror to if everyone actually followed their advice


    There should be a trial flight arranged by passengers to test out the practicality of the advice. Take an Air Canada 777 flight with 307 economy passengers and get everyone to move around the economy cabin every 30 minutes or so. I suspect even staggered timings wouldn’t work.

    According to NHS Choices, DVT from long haul flying was first described in 1956 so it’s not exactly a new condition. The prevalence of tighter seating in all directions in today’s ‘modern’ aircraft is surely the cause of the rise of incidents, and therefore publicity and public awareness of the condition.


    But many of AC’s B777-300ERs have adopted the high-density configuration with 458 and not 307 seats. However, with the removal of some J class seats the total count is being reduced 450 but Y remains unchanged.


    Its B787-9s have 298 seats.


    Also note that airlines have begun installing fewer toilets in the Y zones so that means more queuing, more pressure on available space to move around.


    LuganoPirate – “would be happy to pay 10% more for 10% more space”

    +1….BUT premium economy is not even 10% more in many cases and is charged at around 100 % more…

    the only really good black friday deal was NZ flight LHR-LA at £ 199 returns with additionally a good sky couch offer

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