HC Deb 12 April 2002 vol 383 cc683-4W
Mr. Peter Ainsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the link between air travel and deep vein thrombosis. [47043]

Yvette Cooper

[holding answer 10 April 2002]: We take the health of aircraft passengers and aircrew members very seriously. Although further research needs to be carried out into the links between deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and long distance travel, blood clots can occur when people remain immobile and seated for long periods of time and therefore could occur in a range of travel situations.

On 30 November 2001 the Department issued information and advice to the airlines and the public about minimising the risk of DVT during long journeys. This included practical advice for air passengers on long haul flights. It also identified certain groups who may be at a higher risk of DVT and advised them to seek medical advice before travelling and described simple in-seat exercises that should be recommended to all air passengers.

To maximise access for the public to this information and advice it is available through health services, the internet, the airlines and NHS Direct and will be kept under review in the light of new research information.