More Deep Vein Thrombosis Questions

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Hey Walt!

Here's a question. I've been following the Lipitor regimen, taking an aspirin daily when I can remember and while at work, I try to at least stand up and stretch on a regular basis.

It seems like DVT is only diagnosed after something goes wrong, so I'm wondering is there anything you would recommended having checked out periodically to check to be sure you aren't developing DVT?

In the last three months, I've heard the stories of two different pilots that ended up with DVT. One domestic, one international and both had to spend quite a bit of time off of work because of the "blood thinning" treatments and I'd like to avoid that! :)
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
There is nothing to check on a regular basis. You can check 3 blood tests (protein-c, protein-s, and favtor-V Leiden) to see if you have risk factors. These are all hereditary.

The best things you can do are move your legs and stay hydrated, and take aspirin before you fly (or 81mg aspirin on a daily basis).

The largest studies about "traveler's DVT" are from Australia. The common thread is flights more than 4 hours in length and the longer the flight the more the risk.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Thanks!

Would it be a good idea for a one-time check or should it be something checked periodically, like a radiator flush? :)
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Excellent. Thanks for the prompt answer!

Hey, uhhh, you uhhh, wouldn't know anyone who could order one, do ya? ;)
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
Walt, do we have to worry about anything with his medical if he gets checked and is positive??
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
My wife has factor-V Leiden and has already had 3 DVT's. We no longer do any long car rides where she is sitting for several hours straight and if we do have to get on a long flight then she gets some blood thinners as a preventive measure.
She went to get her 3rd class medical a few years ago and she was denied because she just has a stay in the hospital with a DVT and was on codeine. She has been stable now for the past two years and off medication so we are going to try again for her medical next year. Are we wasting our time or is it possible to work through the FAA medical on this issue?
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
She was probably denied for the codeine. She can get a medical with this. I have several airline pilots who have have this and have had a DVT and pulmonary embolus - they have an active medical and just take a aspirin a day.
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
Just to clarify, When I said codeine I meant Coumadin. My wife laughed at me when I said Codeine.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
This is what you need to submit to the FAA to get a medical:
An applicant with a history of thromboembolic disease must submit the following if consideration for medical certification is desired:

  1. Hospital admission and discharge summary
  2. Current status report including:
    • Detailed family history of thromboembolic disease
    • Neoplastic workup, if clinically indicated
    • PT/PTT
    • Protein S & C
    • Leiden Factor V
    • If still anticoagulated, submit all (no less than monthly) INR from time of hospital discharge to present
 

Dan208B

Well-Known Member
Just a little more on this... Been commuting a lot (5 hour legs in coach), then got hired at a new airline and sat in class for 2 months. After I got home had symptoms of DVT in one thigh. What I want to pass along is that getting it checked out is VERY easy. They do an ultrasound that takes 15 minutes. No pain, no needles, no hassle. I'm waiting on results but either way it was well worth getting checked out even if it ends up being muscle pain or something else. Don't wait, there are too many cases of people having medical emergencies from not doing anything about it. (I probably waited longer than I should because I'm afraid of the possibility of needles.)
 

Jimflyfast

lurker first class
I also strongly suggest compression socks when flying. Laugh all the f*k you want, but they work. I wear them flying as a pilot or a passenger
 

Dan208B

Well-Known Member
Not a bad idea Jim. The doctor also said a baby aspirin every day you fly would be of value also and is highly unlikely to have side affects at that low of a dose.
 
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