As you know, we medicos love acronyms, so let’s clear up this new acronym first. DVT stands for Deep Venous Thrombosis, which describes blood clots, generally in your lower legs. And secondly, you don’t have to fly to get a DVT - you can get it on the ground.
Now everyone in the world, other than a few farmers in outer Mongolia, has heard of the “Economy Class Syndrome”, in which you end up getting blood clots in the legs from being squeezed into seat 176A at the rear of the Economy section of Plummet Airlines. The rationale is that after sitting in 176A for the 12 hour flight to bring the bad news to Outer Mongolia, the blood flow in the legs slows so much that clotting forms and you end up with the acronym, called a DVT, or more correctly Deep Vein Thrombosis, or even Deep Venous Thrombosis. This has produced a group of nervous airline passengers, cowering in fear, waiting for hijacking or DVTs. Those who can afford it, upgrade to Business class and sit there drinking G&T’s feeling totally pampered and safe from DVT. Unfortunately, you can get a DVT while sitting with the aforementioned G&T in seat 12A as well.
However, there are many other ways of getting your DVT, and you don’t have to buy an expensive ticket, plus fuel surcharge to get one. You can get one sitting in front of your work computer. Dear me, your computer is now a killer.
Backing up this contentious claim is one of the world’s respected medical publications, the New Zealand Medical Journal, with the results tabled at the annual conference of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Professor Richard Beasley of the Medical Research Institute in New Zealand studied patients admitted to hospital with DVTs and found that only 21 percent had traveled on long distance flights, whilst 34 percent were sedentary office workers who would sit in front of their computer screen for three to four hours at a stretch without getting up, and do this for up to 14 hours a day. This showed two factors. Firstly their work habit was dangerous, allowing the blood to pool up in their legs, and secondly, they had magnificent bladder control.
Whilst I was joking about the bladder control, I would postulate that to be able to sit for four hours at a time, these office workers were not drinking enough fluid, leading to thickening of the blood, and even more likelihood of blood clots. Look around your office, how many of the staff have a water jug, or even a glass of water on their work station?
That’s enough on the factors leading to DVT, what can a DVT do? What happens is very understandable. The clot breaks off from the deep vein and then travels upwards towards the heart. In doing so, it will go from major, large diameter blood vessels into smaller and smaller again. Eventually, depending upon the size, the clot will become wedged in a very small vessel and shut off the blood supply to that area.
If the blockage occurs in the lung, the condition is called a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). This is potentially fatal. PE causes or contributes to up to 200,000 deaths annually in the United States. One in every 100 patients who develop DVT die due to pulmonary embolism.
There is some good news in all this, if pulmonary embolism can be diagnosed early and appropriate therapy started, the mortality can be reduced from approximately 30 percent to less than 10 percent.
Still, 10 percent is a little too high for my liking. So what can you do to prevent getting a DVT? Apart from the obvious maintenance of good health with sensible eating and drinking and regular check-ups, the important preventive factors include getting up and walking around at least every hour (both in the office and from seat 176A), drinking plenty of water and taking 100 mg of aspirin every day. By making it less likely that a clot can form, you remove the dangers of DVT.
Go and get a glass of water now! And use it to swallow your aspirin.
After displaying a “teaser” at the Shanghai motor show in April, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the production version of its new compact SUV, known as the GLA.
Round the houses racing is not a new development, though there has been a resurgence in the last few years. For me, circuits around the houses offer little opportunity for cars to pass each other, and every opportunity to have a nasty meeting with a wall!
Well, we learned that it doesn’t always rain for the race, though the showers in Qualifying certainly sparked up the attempts at pole. Five different pole sitters in the last 60 seconds of Qualifying was edge of the seat stuff.
Here is the latest trip for the 4WD enthusiasts, running from Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand - Bangkok - Maesot - Myawaddy - Kaithyio - Naypyidaw - Inle Lake - Mandalay - Bagan - Yangon - Mawlamyaing - Myawaddy - Maesot - Bangkok - Malaysia - Singapore.
Last week I asked which car required you to lift the engine cover to get to the fuel filler? Clue - What do you call a young bull? It was the Lamborghini Uracco, produced between 1973 and 1979, and typical of the unreliability of the Lamborghini’s at that time. The Lambo Espada was another nightmare to work on. To change the sparkplugs you had to (in order) remove air cleaners, carburetors, inlet manifolds, grind down a plug spanner, lose several knuckles, and you could then change the sparkplugs!
So to this week. What SUV came out with a quad cam, 5.2 liter V12 with six Weber carburetors?
Does you accountant have nine fingers? If so, get another one! However, losing a finger is a messy, painful experience, and usually associated with work. There are about 10,000 cases of job-related amputations in the United States each year; 94 percent of these involve fingers. Few statistics are available for the outcome of replantations, but with microsurgery the success rate is increasing.
F1 resumes with Spa this weekend. After the mid-year four week holiday, F1 returns to one of the best tracks on the calendar - Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, a circuit that everyone enjoys (are you listening, Bernie).
The Federal Tyres, Flex stores in Japan, and several Thai officials and drivers were at the Bira circuit for one of the special stages of the rally which went from Pattaya to Ubon Ratchathani then into Laos finishing at Pakse (10th-16th August).
I was very fortunate in being given a book on Spa Francorchamps 1948-1960, with a wealth of detail from the early days before Bernie and the F1 phenomenon. The circuit was the venue for the Grand Prix de Belgique, and it was immensely popular with the drivers of the day. See how many of these you can remember - Emile Cornet, Johnny Claes, Andre Pilette, Paul Frere, Jacques Scaters, Charles de Tornaco, Roger Laurent, Freddy Rousselle, Gilberte Thirion, Alain de Changy, Jean Blaton, Andre Milhoux, Olivier Gendebien, Lucien Bianchi and Willy Mairesse are mentioned in the foreword. Paul Frere was a noted journalist as well as a top race driver.