Economy Class Syndrome / DVT: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:35 by admin
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially deadly condition coined the "economy class syndrome," has garnered increased media attention recently as airlines around the world brace for lawsuits by hundreds of passengers. Dubbed the economy class syndrome because the condition tends to afflict people on long-haul flights in cramped seating arrangements, DVT may cause over 30,000 deaths each year, with an estimated 1,000 of those deaths occurring after flights of exceptionally long duration. During long periods of physical inactivity blood tends to pool in the legs, a condition that may cause blood clots. Once the passenger leaves the plane the blood clot may become dislodged, leave the legs and travel to a vital organ such as the lungs or brain. The result is often deadly. Studies have shown that the typical victim makes it as far as the baggage claim area, or about one-half mile, before the clot reaches an organ and does its damage. However, for some victims of economy class syndrome, symptoms take much longer to materialize.

While referred to as the economy class syndrome, the condition does not discriminate on the basis of fare class. It can strike anyone who sits upright and motionless for several hours. Attorneys are charging that the airlines have known about this deadly threat for years yet have neglected to inform passengers of the risk. Simple instructions from flight attendants regarding the advisability of light airborne exercise such as stretching and walking around the cabin may have prevented countless injuries and deaths.

See your doctor if you have suffered from deep vein thrombosis after airline travel. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Airlines
  2. Blood Clots
  3. Deep Vein Thrombosis
  4. Economy Class Syndrome, Frequently Asked Questions
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