Dr. Iain Corness

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:30

DVT for Songkran?

With Songkran just around the corner, and many people looking at how to go to any other country that does not lose its marbles in April, you may have a choice.  Getting wet or a DVT.

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, the blood flow in the legs slows so much that clotting forms and you end up with yet another acronym, this time called 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 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?  In my office, only two of us have water on the desk.

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.  It is estimated that each year more than 600,000 patients suffer a pulmonary embolism. 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 ten 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.

Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:58

Australian GP this weekend

After a layoff that seemed to be forever, the F1 circus is on again in 2013.  The first Grand Prix of the year comes from Australia, around the Albert Park circuit.

Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:57

Is Indonesia a threat?

The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) reports that Indonesia is looking to knock Thailand from its perch as the top vehicle sales country for SE Asia.

Some sources in Australia are suggesting Indonesia could pass Thailand to become the largest vehicle market, by unit sales, in Southeast Asia.

When looking at vehicle producers, however, Thailand is in the world top 10, while Indonesia is lagging seven years behind Thailand.

According to official figures, Indonesia and Thailand produced more than a million vehicles for their domestic markets for the first time last year but the Thais are still far ahead in quality, quantity and value to the national economy.

The Indonesian vehicle sector had a break-out 2012, but Thailand domestic sales grew to 1.44 million units, propelled by the government’s rebate to first car buyers.  Including exports, the Thailand gross figures for production were 2.45 million vehicles.

Indonesia’s figures were 1.2 million vehicles in the domestic market, but only 250,000 for export, well behind Thailand’s numbers, though up 40 percent mainly through the mini-MPV built in Indonesia.

GM is returning to Indonesian manufacturing, after an eight year break, with a Chevrolet mini-MPV, manufactured in Brazil but designed, the company says, for Indonesian conditions.

The Indonesian government is trying to capitalize on the potential through the Low Cost Green Cars program, which would remove or partly rebate the luxury tax applying to all new private vehicles.

The scheme was announced last year with Toyota (which has 36 percent of the domestic market), Daihatsu, Suzuki and Honda all immediately committing to the plan, and now joined by Nissan (using the Datsun nameplate for low cost vehicles).  However, the government has not set the guidelines for the manufacturers, but there is much potential when they do, looking at the population of Indonesia.

Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:55

A Lekky Landy

Word coming through from the UK is that Land Rover has been playing with all-electric Land Rover Defenders.

“This project is acting as a rolling laboratory for Land Rover to assess electric vehicles, even in the most arduous all-terrain conditions,” said Antony Harper, Jaguar Land Rover’s head of research.  “It gives us a chance to evolve and test some of the technologies that may one day be introduced into future Land Rover models.”

Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:52

LaFerrari - pardon?

Finally the new (and for the time being) ultimate Ferrari has been unveiled at the Geneva show, and as predicted it is a hybrid with performance that will blow everything away this side of F1.

Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:51

Is the MINI a disco on wheels?

At the international motor show in Geneva, Harman, the premium global audio and infotainment group, announced two new additions to the line-up of MINI models featuring Harman/Kardon sound.

Last week I asked you what is the connection between Tazio Nuvolari, Nick Mason and Dr Porsche?  No, they didn’t all play guitar, but they all drove the Auto-Union rear engine V16 Silver Arrow, one of the most fearsome race cars of all time.  Buckets of horses going through the skinny tyres of the day.  You had to be a hero to drive one.

So to this week.  A famous movie star had a 1948 Ford convertible repossessed.  Who was this person?

For the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:26

A big blow for Sister Joan

It was Sr. Joan’s 80th birthday March 5 and around 80 of her friends and well-wishers hid in Jameson’s Irish Pub to surprise her.  Chief organizer Mary Pierce had arranged for a massive cake with 80 candles - true - I counted them!

Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:08

Is Melanoma a real problem?

Shock, horror headlines in the Aussie media last year claiming that tanning beds kill 43 Australians a year through melanoma alone and are responsible for another 2600 annual skin cancer diagnoses.  That is certainly attention grabbing news.

Thursday, 07 March 2013 14:36

Season’s opener for the Retro racers

It has only just been a little over two months of a layoff, but the racing season 2013 starts up again for many of the classes running in Thailand, including the Retro race cars.

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