Gamers Thrombosis: How playing too long can be dangerous

Advice for preventing dangerous blood clots during video game marathons

DVT blog

During long holidays and snow days, it’s tempting to use the time playing video games. With online players in different time zones, the urge is strong to play for hours and hours. But doctors warn of a health risk of playing too long in the virtual landscape: gamers thrombosis.

University of Michigan Emergency Medicine physician Dr. Steven Kronick says there’s a rise in cases of gamers thrombosis, blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that result from inactivity during game play.

“Gaming can be distracting and the hours can just melt away,” says Dr. Kronick. “Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for developing venothromboembolic disease or blood clots. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting on a very long air flight or on your living room couch. It’s the same mechanism.”

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What you need to know about IVC filters

Learn the risks and benefits of filters designed to catch dangerous blood clots

Doctor holding IVC filterMore adults than ever have inferior vena cava filters, cage-like devices implanted in their chest to protect them from stroke or deadly blood clots. News reports that questioned the safety of IVC filters made by CR Bard may have patients wondering: what kind of IVC filter they have, and if, and when, it should be removed.

Vein specialists at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center weigh in on the emerging concerns about IVC filters.

How IVC filters work

IVC filters are inserted into the inferior vena cava to capture large blood clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs. The inferior vena cava is the main vessel that returns blood from the lower body back to the heart and lungs. Doctors may recommend an IVC filter if they’re worried about the risk of dangerous blood clots among their patients with risk factors, such as: Continue reading

Top 5 Takeaways on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins

Dr. Dawn Coleman shares information from Mini Med School presentation

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic diseases blogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shared his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Dawn Coleman’s Mini Med School presentation on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins:

1. Surgery for AAA is a solid option

Open surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains a durable option for patients; endovascular measures with stent graft technology continue to evolve, offering expanded indications for use with complex anatomy and a lower risk of early death and major complication. Continue reading

Traveling this holiday season? Know the risks of DVT

Tips for travelers on extended flights or drives

planeThe 2014 year-end holiday travel period is defined by AAA as beginning today, Tuesday, December 23, through Sunday, January 4, 2015.

Travel volume for the year-end holidays will reach the highest peak recorded by AAA (since 2001), with nearly 91 percent of all travelers (89.5 million) celebrating the holidays with a road trip and 5.7 million travelers taking to the skies.

Travelers with varicose veins — both men and women — should know the risks of DVT. Anyone with varicose veins is at a slightly higher risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) during a long flight or ride.

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Women and DVT

Are you at risk?

A woman’s risk for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism varies with hormonal exposure,Jane1.fw which makes pregnancy, use of hormone replacement therapy or birth control products important risk factors. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, DVT and PE are the most common causes of maternal-related deaths.

If you’re pregnant, you can take precautions to prevent clots. The American Society of Hematology recommends the following:

  • Be aware of risk factors.
  • Know your family history.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about any history of blood clots or blood clotting disorders in your family.
  • Remain active, with your doctor’s approval.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a blood clot. Visit your doctor immediately if you think you have one. Continue reading

Time for spring destinations!

Know the risks of DVT during travel

For many, this time of year means spring travel is on the agenda. Those with varicose veins — bothplane men and women — should know that they are at a slightly higher risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) during a long flight or ride.

Even if you don’t have varicose veins, do you know the risks of DVT during travel? Here are tips for anyone flying or traveling for long periods of time (4 or more hours):