Many travellers have become aware in recent years of the problems of sitting for extended periods during long haul air flights, due to the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). However, it seems now that more people may be at risk as the condition may occur in car passengers as well.
A new government survey has revealed that DVT (or blood clots) is a risk in all forms of long distance transport and not just on flights.
People on long journeys, whether they are travelling by plane, train, coach or car are three times more likely to suffer blood clots in their legs, pelvis or thighs. If the blood clots are then carried to the lungs they can prove fatal said the survey, which collated information from the motor insurance industry.
People who spend more than 12 hours travelling, women on the contraceptive pill and people taller than six foot three inches are most at risk. The government recommends that travellers move as much as possible and drink non-alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration. If possible take regular breaks every two hours to stretch your legs and get some fresh air, this will also help with driver fatigue.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, a cough, chest pains, swelling, pains or cramps in the lower legs and can occur up to four weeks after the journey.