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Updated June 5, 2004
Airhealth.org

Economy Class Syndrome News thru 6/01

6/27/01 Wall Street Journal story by Melanie Trottman. Probably the best story in terms of content and audience; it made the front page. Ms. Trottman says it has gotten a lot of reader response including victims and people who know victims. It mentions Mike Reynolds and includes information we provided, but doesn't mention Airhealth.org. I haven't found a web link except for subscribers to the web edition. You can see the story at your library.

6/24/01 San Francisco Chronicle story by Ulysses Torassa. The first mainstream media news story that really tells people what they need to know appears today in the San Francisco Chronicle. See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/06/24/MN141414.DTL

6/22/01 Airline Pilot stories printed. Airline Pilot, the magazine of Airline Pilots Association, prints two stories on ECS, one by Stanley Mohler, Director of Aerospace Medicine at Wright State Medical School, the other by Mike Reynolds, director of Airhealth.org. The two stories reinforce each other. A related story appeared the magazine of the Allied Pilots Association, another major pilots' union.

6/18/01 FAA weighs in. Previously the FAA viewed ECS as a passenger health issue, outside their jurisdiction. They cover passenger safety, not passenger health. Then I told them about a pilot/victim who, like most victims, struggled for some time with unfamiliar symptoms he did not understand. During that time he was at risk of sudden collapse, a danger to himself and his passengers. Now the FAA agrees that this is an issue of pilot health and passenger safety, both within FAA jurisdiction. Airline medical directors are being asked to advise pilots re. how to avoid ECS, how to recognize symptoms, and how to avoid the misdiagnosis that, more often than not, aggravates the injury and increases the risk of death. Eventually this will become part of mandatory flight standards.

6/16/01 Symptomless is NOT harmless. A reporter asked me what leg symptoms I had noticed. The answer was none. I had symptomless DVT, like those that John Scurr found in 10% of air travelers. Symptomless DVT caused my PE. Symptomless DVT is NOT harmless. - MR.

6/13/01 PTSD. After reading that Hartley Cramer's client had suffered PTSD, a reporter sent us a copy of a story written by Chris Jones, who was stricken so severely last year that he ended up resigning at age 45 from his post as head of J Walter Thompson advertising. Jones said the worst part of his ordeal was the deep depression that followed. This led us to look back at indications from other victims of depression and/or PTSD. Apparently it is a common after-effect of flight-induced DVT/PE. There are indications that when this is more recognized and acknowledged by the airlines, the depression will be less common and/or less severe.

6/8/01 Vancouver, BC. Attorney Hartley E Cramer (hecramer@sprint.ca, (604) 684-6301) issues a statement re. Janina Gajska, a victim. See Message page. Airline denied demand for settlement and suit may be filed very soon.

5/2/016 American Airlines American Airlines posts a DVT statement on their website which begins: "There is no evidence that air travel causes DVT. " This contradicts an earlier published statement from their medical director, David McKenas, that "Air travel is a risk factor for DVT."

5/23/01 Hockey player, 22 A young hockey player suffered deep vein thrombosis on her first overseas trip with the Australian team. Emil Halliday, 22, will be out of action for a couple of months after developing a clot in her calf during a Qantas flight from Argentina to Australia earlier this month. Ms Halliday had to withdraw from the South-East Asian Games in Osaka, Japan. She is on medication to prevent clotting until the end of June and cannot fly or play hockey. Ms Halliday said she experienced discomfort during the trip.

5/14/01 10-year-old girl (South China Morning Post)A 10-year-old girl has become a victim of "economy-class syndrome," a report said Sunday. The girl, who is recovering, developed a blood clot during a 13-hour flight from Britain to Hong Kong in February, the South China Morning Post reported. The paper said the girl slept throughout the flight.

5/12/01 John Scurr's study published in The Lancet In England, John Scurr did ultrasound scans of 100 travelers before and after vacation flights. He found that 10% of the developed DVT. The study is stronger than we expected. People with most of the major risk factors for DVT were excluded.

4/20/01 Congresswoman Louise Slaughter On a British Airways flight, Slaughter was stunned at the way they promoted anti-clot exercise. She was not aware of the danger. After return, she sent an inquiry to the Department of Transportation asking why US airlines don't do the same.

3/9/01 (CNN) in-depth report An excellent report with several stories and links to others. Links to airline and Air Transport Association websites were disappointing, though. I could not find any ECS information at any of them. You can find see the in-depth report at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/ecsyndrome/index.html

02/09/2001 Sydney (Reuters) by Michael Perry Following a meeting with doctors and airline representatives, one doctor says that Economy Class Syndrome does not exist. However, he goes on to say that the incidence is very low, around 5% of people hospitalized with blood clots. In the US, this translates to about 40,000 per year. (Mortality is about 10% of these, according to other sources.) If these were crash victims, it would not be considered a nonexistent problem. Other studies have found about ten times more victims.

01/13/2001 Toronto (National Post) by Brad Evenson This is the best news article I've seen on ECS, with quotes from many experts. It is posted here with permission from Thomas Bink, National Post, 3/12/01 http://www.airhealth.org/nationalpost.html

01/11/2001 Ashford, England (CNN) by Tom Bogdanowicz Ashford hospital reports about one death per month from ECS. Extrapolating from other findings, that two out of three are diagnosed as cardiac arrest (the blood clot causes cardiac arrest), there may actually be three deaths per month. And if 90% of victims survive, as some researchers find, then this could represent 30 victims per month. The full text is at http://www.cnn.com/2001/TRAVEL/NEWS/01/11/travelers.thrombosis/index.html

01/11/2001 Adelaide (Reuters) by Marie McInerney Three British Olympic athletes suffered potentially fatal blood clots in the leg, underscoring the fact that it can happen to anyone, even if you are in excellent health.

10/23/2000 London (CNN) Bride-to-be Emma Christofferson dies at Heathrow Airport of ECS. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/10/23/britain.flight/index.html