View Full Version : Ex-BA pilot invents device to prevent DVT blood clots

20th Apr 2001, 13:23
From the Times, 19 April...

In-flight 'gym' to stop fatal clots

AN EXERCISE device for air passengers invented by a former British Airways pilot was hailed yesterday as a breakthrough against potentially fatal blood clots.
The Airogym was developed by Paul Richards after a passenger on one of his flights narrowly survived deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome. It can be caused by dehydration and lack of movement because of cramped conditions on long flights. A blood clot builds up in the leg and can be fatal if it breaks off and reaches the heart or lungs.

The Airogym is a small inflatable footpad. The pressure involved in squeezing it causes muscular contraction of the calf muscles which improves the blood flow through the main veins to the heart.

Half a million Airogyms have been ordered by Emirates Airline, the Dubai-based company, which will start distributing them today free of charge to its passengers. Tests at Middlesex and University College Hospitals recorded a 25 to 50 per cent rise in blood flow when used by 40 seated volunteers aged 25 to 65.

John Scurr, the consultant vascular surgeon who conducted the tests, said: “This increased blood flow prohibits venous stasis and should reduce the risk of potentially dangerous blood clots.”

He added that five minutes’ use every hour would significantly reduce the risk of DVT. It also encouraged better blood flow than walking around.

Mr Richards’s daughter Amanda, the director of Airogym, said yesterday: “Passengers are advised to walk. This can be difficult as 400 people exercising creates problems — interference with the crew and safety concerns in the event of unexpected turbulence.”

No other airlines offer devices although many give demonstrations of simple exercises.

Anti Skid On
20th Apr 2001, 17:54
Top tip - two tennis balls, pierce a small hole in each with a needle, place under foot, administer pressure, e.g squeezing down alternately - better still - WALK!!!

Marko Ramius
20th Apr 2001, 19:17
I hate to be a cynic but it does rather smack of profiteering.

20th Apr 2001, 21:10
It sounds ridiculous,Why not tell passengers to do the following;

1. Drink a bottle of water during flight (0.5litre) cost= 50pence. If the airlines are so concerened for passenger safety, maybe they will give water for free...now thats a radical thought!!

2. Take an aspirin before flight...thins the blood reducing DVT.

3. Dont get smashed before/during flight.

4. WALK.

As usual, lots of sensational noise from media, we are all going to die if we step foot near an aircraft.

21st Apr 2001, 06:53
Just a silly thought - why do people who spend all day in wheelchairs not get DVT ???

21st Apr 2001, 17:42
Folks who are confined to wheelchairs also require physio and massage to keep things going properly.

I would say walk when possible.
It's not profiteering, rather being an entrepreneur. Identify a gap in the market and fill it.

White Knight
22nd Apr 2001, 14:17
I take my hat off to the guy for suddenly making loadsa' dosh, however the real problem of course is that the damn seats are far too close together....If you're 6'7" like me then no aerogym is going to work when you can't move at all.
The only real solution is for the regulators to increase the space available. And how likely is that !