13 May 2008

Blood clot quarantines hundreds

A South African woman's sudden death that sparked a full-scale health scare and quarantine of hundreds of train passengers was in fact a blot clot caused by deep vein thrombosis.

A South African woman's sudden death sparked a full-scale health scare and caused several hundred train passengers to be placed under quarantine in northern Ontario last week. It has now been found she was killed by a blood clot that travelled to her lungs.

Clot caused by deep vein thrombosis
The train, carrying 269 passengers and 30 crew members, was allowed to leave Foleyet late that night and arrived in Toronto several hours late.

Lucas declined to provide details of Buckley's autopsy, saying such information could only be disclosed to her family, but he speculated that the fatal blood clot may have been caused by deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), an ailment that can afflict long-distance travellers.

What is DVT?
Disturbing new research results were released by the World Health Organisation. Preliminary findings show that the risk of so-called venous thromboembolism doubles after travel lasting four hours or more.


Few travellers affected
Although VTE is a dangerous – and potentially fatal condition – the good news is that it affects only a relatively small number of travellers. The absolute risk, if seated and immobile for more than four hours, is about 1 in 6 000.

Multiple flights increase risk
People taking multiple flights over a short period of time are also at greater risk. This is because the risk of VTE does not go away completely after a flight is over. The risk remains elevated for about four weeks.

Air pollution could also cause DVT
A recent study has also linked air pollution which is heavy in small particles to DVT. They claim such pollution may cause blood clots in the legs.

New thrombosis guidelines
Sitting still can be deadly


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