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Economy class syndrome or Deep-Vein Thrombosis to give it it's proper name is a potentially life-threatening disorder where you get blood clots in your legs,
which are dangerous anyway, but these clots can break off at any time, and cause various complications.
These complications include pulmonary embolysms, which leave you short of breath, and are often lethal.
There are various factors that affect your risk of developing a DVT, which you should be aware of.
- A history of blood problems. If you have thick blood, or you have previously had a DVT, then your risks go up.
- Blood factor 5 Lyden Deficiency. 1 in 20 of the population has this blood factor deficiency.
- The pill. If you are taking the pill, your risks go up.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). If you are taking HRT then your risks go up.
- Being in an area prone to Foehn Winds
- Long periods of inactivity. If you sit still for over 8 hours, your risks go up. This has been known about since the blitz of London in World War 2.
If you have more than one of these risk factors, your risks multiply together, making your total risk multiply.
It is not all doom and gloom, however, as you can take steps that will reduce your risks, especially for long-haul flights.
- Get up and walk about after a few hours of inactivity.
- Drink plenty of water to stop you from dehydrating.
- Drink very little alcohol, as this encourages dehydration.
- Exercise your calf muscles, by wigling your feet up and down, which helps circulation.
- You can also buy "flight socks" which are elasticated socks which help to prevent this disorder.