ABSTRACT: Flight-related deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is well recognized. Reduced venous return occurs during immobility. This alteration in venous hemodynamics may contribute to DVT development. A prototype design of an in-flight exercise device to stimulate ambulatory bloodflow while seated has been developed, consisting of a foot pedal attached to a base by a hinge mechanism. Four devices of differing resistance were evaluated. Calf muscle pump function was assessed by air plethysmography in 10 healthy volunteers. Ejection volume fraction and RVF were determined in the standing position (control values) and were compared with those achieved by depression of the 4 devices while seated. Similar EVF and RVF values were achieved by the control and 2 of the devices. Plantar flexion against a predetermined resistance can effectively activate the calf muscle pump while seated and may reduce the incidence of flight-related DVT.
Angiology 59(1):72-6. · 1.51 Impact Factor