"Economy Class Syndrome"

The term "economy class syndrome" was first coined in 1977 by Symington and Stack although the problem of thrombosis following prolonged sitting was recognised much earlier. Keith Simpson noted the phenomenon in patients sheltering during the London air raids in 1940 and the Boston surgeon John Homans (1954) recorded five cases including three which were travel related. In fact, Homans was the first author to note DVT following air travel in a 54 year old physician who flew to Venezuela on 4 July 1946. The two other travel related cases had traveled by car. Thus, from an early stage the phenomenon was recognised to be associated in some way with travel and not merely with "economy class" air travel.

The ASTH is committed to the advancement of knowledge into travel related thrombosis. The Society advises appropriate governmental and commercial interests and provides leadership in the public debate. Thus, we welcome any suggestions from members concerning the issue of travel related thrombosis, as there is a need for the ASTH to maintain a unified approach to the problem. This will enable the Society to address successfully the issue in an appropriate and productive way.  We have completed a bibliography of scientific and medical literature comprising over 300 relevant articles which will be of interest to those of you working in the field. Please feel free to add to this bibliography by emailing Neville Marsh on neville.marsh@adelaide.edu.au. The listing has been compiled by searching through PubMed using a number of key words (see below). The papers have not been vetted in any way and your comments on the usefulness of the bibliography would be most welcome.

Although a little dated, you may also find the UK House of Lords Select Committee Science and Technology 5th Report on Air Travel and Health (15 November 2000)  of some interest. Although Internet searches for "Economy Class Syndrome" yields thousands of hits, the vast majority of these relate to media coverage. A few are of interest and some of these can be reached through our links page. If you have any particular links which might be of use to our members, please email the appropriate URLs to Neville Marsh.