How socks can save lives
24th July 2008
... Comments

Not an issue specific to Bradford, but one close to my heart. Having lost a friend and colleague a few years ago - his family urged those who knew him to share this information with as many people as possible. In doing so perhaps it may save a life and spare others the devastation and heartache suffered by his family and friends from his untimely and unexpected death.

So I make no excuses for using this blog to share this with you.

He was in good health and only in his 40s. He had followed the travel guidelines and had taken some exercise during the flight and had had plenty of water to drink. There was no reason for him even consider being at risk of DVT. But he didn't survive the flight.

During the investigations that followed, his family learned that DVT occurs as a result of long haul travel more frequently than you would think or is publicised. In this case he suffered a Pulmonary Embolum (blood clot in the lung) as a result of the DVT which was sadly fatal on this occasion.

But this risk, his family were told, is almost completely avoidable - and more should be done to advise travellers of some of the simple preventative measures that can be taken.

The very clear message given to this family from the various authorities involved - was that they would recommend every adult travelling on a long-haul flight, or long journey, to wear elastic compression type 2 stockings (flight socks). These look just the same as a pair of knee high socks - but the light pressure prevents blood 'pooling' in the calf. They are around £15 and can be bought from most Pharmacys and Airports.

I am not in the medical proffession and have no expertise in this whatsoever, but this is a risk that many people will not have been aware and as I understand it, is avoidable. Information can be found on the official Department of Health website.

I would welcome informed comments from those with medical expertise, or from anyone who has directly or indirectly been involved in similar circumstances.

If wearing these socks could eliminate the risk (however small) and avoid the few cases that end in such serious consequences - why isn't this information widely publicised? Shouldn't this type of advice be given at point of sale?

About the Author

Jan B

Member since: 8th May 2012

Hi. I'm Jan. Married with two lovely daughters. Have very little spare time as my second job is a taxi service taking them to various activities every weekday evening and on Saturdays (not complaining...

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