jasond
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:23 am

Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:07 am

Just read a post on PPRuNe about an A345 Captain (SIA) 49 years old that has died from DVT. It was just posted. Is there any truth to this?
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:19 am

I don't see why a pilot would die of DVT, given that they have plenty of space in the cockpit (particularly a widebody cockpit), and they are definately able to get up and stretch out. There has to be more to this than meets the eye
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:25 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
I don't see why a pilot would die of DVT, given that they have plenty of space in the cockpit (particularly a widebody cockpit), and they are definately able to get up and stretch out. There has to be more to this than meets the eye

DVT does not necessarily ( in spite of the tabloid newspapers referring to it as "economy class syndrome" ) have anything to do with lack of space - J class pax have suffered from it before . I must admit though that I would have expected pilots to be less prone to it due to the requirements for regular medical checkups which would usually pick up if someone was predisposed towards this condition - perhaps post Sept 11 pilots are less inclined to leave the cockpit and walk around the aisles than they once were ?
 
MAS777
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:07 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
I don't see why a pilot would die of DVT, given that they have plenty of space in the cockpit (particularly a widebody cockpit), and they are definately able to get up and stretch out. There has to be more to this than meets the eye

DVTs are not events exclusive to flying nor sitting within a confined space so pilots are not excluded from suffering these events. You can still suffer from thromboembolic disease or 'events' despite not ever having flown. Smoking is probably one of the largest single contributing factors.

[Edited 2005-11-16 14:08:36]
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6030
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:48 pm

I often sit in the flightdeck for 5-6 hours without getting up. Especially so if I don't need the toilet, or if I don't feel the need to stretch my legs. It is bad and I should, but sometimes I forget or am too lazy to do so. DVT is something you can get anywhere when immobile for lengthy periods of time.
 
trex8
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:55 pm

no one dies from a DVT per se, they die when that blood clot in the leg (or even arm) goes to your lung and stops your heart- pulmonary embolism - and you may have very little in the way of any leg symptoms. its actually incredibly common and it has been estimated 10,000 deaths after surgeries in the US alone occur annually from pulmonary embolism, most are preventable!!
 
Tarantine
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2000 12:53 pm

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:07 am

DVTs can be caused by dehydration too. Most people that fly do not drink much water and thus become dehydrated, also the air in the cabin is very dry. I have had a DVT in my leg and my doctor made it very clear that I must stay hydrated and keep my legs active.
 
filejw
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 2:58 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:20 am

The water thing is a big deal, my Dr really pushed it after I had a DVT.I also carry Sports Cord and do so leg exercise after 2 to 3 hrs.
 
BWI757
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:58 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:25 am

For those of us who are medically challenged:

http://www.dvt.net/home.do?id=0

BWI757
I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:32 am

BTW - getting back to the original post - has this report been verified ?
 
jasond
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:23 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:23 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 9):
BTW - getting back to the original post - has this report been verified ?

Yes, thankyou, we still haven't verified this story yet. I first read a post about it on IFDG that pointed to a post on PPRN. Beyond that I have heard nothing else about it.
 
Gasman
Posts: 1402
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:06 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:52 am

Quoting MAS777 (Reply 3):
Smoking is probably one of the largest single contributing factors.

Not really. The biggest risk factors are having surgery, the oral contraceptive pill, and pelvic tumours. Smoking, flying and short periods of immobility are all risk factors, but lesser ones.

Quoting Tarantine (Reply 6):
DVTs can be caused by dehydration too.

The logic that dehydrated blood will be "thicker" and therefore clot more easily is intuitively appealing but has never really been scientifically verified. Somewhat illogically, there is some evidence that haemodilution (ie. too much free water in the circulation) can also predispose to DVT. The best advice when flying is probably simply to do what you would do on land - when thirsty, drink (and not alcohol). And the advice to move around or do passive calf exercises, and avoid pressure points on the legs, is valid and has been well promulgated.

BTW most "DVT stockings" you can buy from a drugstore/pharmacy are completely useless unless they fit properly and extend above the knee.

Cheers

Gasman
a Dr. who spends a fair bit of his time worrying about DVT.
 
georgiaame
Posts: 951
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:11 pm

Okay, I've been taken to task on this BB for stating opinions for which I was not exactly qualified to talk about. So be it

I happen to be a physician, and actually do know something about DVTs, and God knows, I've lost too many patients as a result of them.

First off. Economy class syndrome is a myth. I hate flying stearage just as much as the next guy, but it isn't going to kill you. Cramp you, yes. Hurt your back? Yes. Raise your blood pressure being forced to sit next to a smelly, fleshy flyer? Yes. Induce a vascular thrombosis in a leg vein, that propagates 10-20cm, flaps in the vascular stream, breaks off and lodges in your lung, killing you? No. DVTs are always pre-existing conditions, which go sour after you sit for a prolonged period of time, then induce just enough vascular shear to have a chunk break off once you start walking again.

Each and every case you hear about got onto that aircraft with a large, asymptomatic clot already present in his or her leg. The sitting didn't help it, but invariably, they drop dead off the aircraft, probably racing to make their connection, when a chunk of the clot breaks off, and drifts upstream into the heart and then the lungs. Then you die.

I don't know if this is a true story or not, but if it is, that pilot was a hurting puppy before he even sat down in his seat. He was a dead man, long before takeoff. This is an almost impossible disease to diagnose in advance, and it is not particularly common. But poop happens, and how many SIA crew members have flown that route over how many years, for how many hours, all symptom free, and fundamentally healthy?

It is a tragedy, and I'm really glad I wasn't on board when it happened, but it is a fluke, and has almost nothing to do with prolonged sitting behind a yoke.

Now isn't the A380 one of the ugliest aircraft ever to lift off terra firma? It will never sell...
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
Lemurs
Posts: 1320
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:13 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:54 pm

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 12):
It is a tragedy, and I'm really glad I wasn't on board when it happened, but it is a fluke, and has almost nothing to do with prolonged sitting behind a yoke.

Now isn't the A380 one of the ugliest aircraft ever to lift off terra firma? It will never sell...

It's a real shame there's no "Hall of Fame" for interesting and fun posts, cuz I'd flag this one in and instant. Welcome to my RU for having a sense of humor while also being deadly serious.  Smile
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
 
jasond
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:23 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:55 pm

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 13):
It's a real shame there's no "Hall of Fame" for interesting and fun posts, cuz I'd flag this one in and instant. Welcome to my RU for having a sense of humor while also being deadly serious.

If I knew it was going to go in this direction I would never have started this thread. All I asked for was if the story could be verified. It seems after several days now it can't so I will assume it is not true.
 
TinkerBelle
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:21 pm

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 12):
It is a tragedy, and I'm really glad I wasn't on board when it happened, but it is a fluke, and has almost nothing to do with prolonged sitting behind a yoke.

Now isn't the A380 one of the ugliest aircraft ever to lift off terra firma? It will never sell...

Great sense of humor....and THANX for some info on DVT.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
acjflyer
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:44 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:54 pm

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 13):
It's a real shame there's no "Hall of Fame" for interesting and fun posts, cuz I'd flag this one in and instant. Welcome to my RU for having a sense of humor while also being deadly serious.

I agree completely, great sense of humor and thank you for finally getting everyone to quit the assumption game.
 
amhilde
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:01 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:17 am

Here is another question then- if you have family predisposed to clotting blood, are you more likely to be predisposed to the same condition in your life and hence perhaps more at risk? My father had several knee surgeries and had been rushed to the hospital a few times with blood clots ( or whilst in the hospital) and now has to be on the thinners for the rest of his life. I was just wondering about this in the last week when I was long-hauling it and drinking water and walking around to keep things flowing!
Hang on tightly, Let go lightly
 
georgiaame
Posts: 951
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Long Haul Pilot Dies Of DVT

Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:32 am

Totally off topic, but in the interest of saving a life, the answer is yes, you can be predisposed to clotting disorders, and there is a very simple blood test looking for Protein C, S, and AntiThrombin III which would suggest that you either do or do not have a problem. If the abnormality is there, I would be especially careful about long distance flying (or sitting behind a computer screen), and your own doctor can direct you.

Again, off topic, I apologize, but it may save a life.

And the Emirates 380 in livery is actually pretty.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero