When You Travel, How Safe Are You From Developing a Deadly Blood Clot?


A man who almost died from a deadly blood clot has launched a clinically researched, trialled and proven medical product which significantly reduces the risk of a medical complaint which has become synonymous with air travel.

Paul Westerman suffered a massive pulmonary embolism – the result of a deep vein thrombosis – in 2011 and has spent the last eight years researching the condition and working with experts within respiratory and thrombolytic medicine.

As a result, the 54-year-old, in conjunction with leading clinicians and a world-renowned product designer, has created the RBR legflow™ – which helps improve the venous blood flow in the lower limbs of individuals when seated.

And it is now hoped that the device, which fits comfortably underfoot, will be introduced across all airlines and available in planes as standard.

Mr Westerman said: “For almost 20 years, the medical profession has been aware that reduced venous blood flow in sedentary people was a key contributor to developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and as a result, travelling by airplane was seen as the main culprit because people are forced to sit still in confined spaces for prolonged periods.

“The truth is DVT can – and does – affect people of all ages, from all backgrounds and is not just linked to flying but also other periods of immobility.

“Having said that, there has been little change in the basic design of commercial aircraft since the widespread introduction of jet propulsion 40 years ago.

“As a result, the anticipated reduction in flight times has not occurred and in fact, new technology has been utilised to develop ultra-long-distance sectors of up to 16 hours duration. 

“Additionally, commercial influences have forced airlines to maximise carrying capacity by dramatically reducing the leg space available.

“This has resulted in more prolonged periods of progressively more confined seated immobility which might explain why DVT is still so often linked to travel.”

RBR active™ is now working with many international, long haul airlines to introduce the RBR legflow™ to their flights and to reduce the risk of DVT their customers are exposed to.

Research has shown that this device markedly increases lower limb venous blood flow, thereby significantly reducing the risk of blood clots, in people who sit for long periods at work or with long distance air travel.

Key facts:

  • During sustained periods of immobility, like flying, the combined effects of venous pooling, reduced flow create the conditions necessary for thrombus activation
  • It estimated that 2.3 billion people travel by air every year
  • It wasn’t until 1974 that the general population and media became alerted to the existence of ‘travellers’ thrombosis’
  • The threat of thrombosis on long haul flights of over 8 hours is 1.65 cases per million passengers
  • NZATT study indicated that VTE is a significant potential health hazard for many long-haul distance travellers
  • economy class syndrome’ – the class of travel (First, Business or Economy) makes no difference to the potential of developing a DVT whilst flying
  • The cost of thrombosis to the NHS is estimated at over £200 million a year
  • Globally this is a cost to health service providers of more than £22 billion each year
  • More than 60% of all cases of VTE are associated with hospitalisation, with many events occurring up to 90 days after admission
  • VTE affects approximately one in 1000 of the UK population and is a significant cause of mortality, long-term disability and chronic ill-health problems
  • In Europe, there are 544,000 VTE-related deaths every year
  • In the U.S. and Europe, VTE-related events kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer, prostate cancer and motor vehicle crashes combined
  • In the UK, up to 60% of VTE cases occur during or after hospitalisation, making it the leading    preventable cause of hospital death
  • Hospital-acquired blood clots cause an estimated 25,000 preventable deaths each year

For more information visit: www.rbractive.com