Traveller's thrombosis

Economy class syndrome

Traveller's thrombosis

What is traveller's thrombosis?

Traveller's thrombosis is a thrombosis incurred by sitting. Everybody who flies on business or privately knows: it's cramped on a plane. Economy class passengers are allowed about 17 inches seat width and 30 inches legroom.

When aircraft passengers sit motionless for hours in aeroplanes, the blood circulation slows down. The dry air and the low air pressure on board are contributory factors. This is compounded by the bent sitting position in the groin and, above all, the bent or crossed legs. The kinked veins now have to work hard to pump the blood out of the feet back to the heart. The blood can pool in the legs and the watery components leak through the venous wall into the tissues.

The result: the feet and legs swell up. The blood can thicken and, if a vein is then blocked, a thrombosis may develop.

Preventing traveller's thrombosis

Here are some tips on how you can prevent traveller's thrombosis:

  • Get up and walk about
  • Drink plenty of water or tea or similar drinks
  • Foot exercises: flexing, extending and circling your ankles activates the blood circulation

Medical compression garments are ideal travelling companions for people in high risk groups (e.g. shortly after an operation), or middle risk groups (e.g. travellers over 60, or who are overweight or who have a familial susceptibility to thrombosis).

The doctor can prescribe these if necessary. He will also recommend leg exercises and advise you on medication.

Travel socks minimise thrombosis risk

People with healthy veins can minimise the risk of a thrombosis and swollen legs with travel socks. The exactly defined compression pressure (medi compression technology) diminishes towards the knee. The veins are squeezed together and the venous valves can close again. The "used" blood flows back to the heart faster. There is even a clinically tested stocking that "Öko-Test" judged as "good" (medi travel). Travellers can get advice on the right size from medical retailers.

Travel socks from medi