Long-haul air travel before major surgery: A prescription for thromboembolism?

Ognjen Gajic, David Oman Warner, Paul A. Decker, Rimki Rana, Denis L. Bourke, Juraj Sprung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence of postoperative venous thromboembollsm (VTE) in patients who had flown long distances before major surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using the Mayo Clinic computerized patient database, we identified patients who had flown more than 5000 km before major surgery (travelers) and had experienced an episode of clinically significant VTE within 28 days after surgery. Individual medical records were reviewed for the diagnosis of VTE, pertinent risk factors, and outcome. We compared the incidence of VTE in travelers to the incidence of VTE in patients from North America (nontravelers) undergoing similar surgical procedures. RESULTS: Eleven patients met our criteria for long-haul air travel and clinically significant VTE within 28 days after surgery. Compared with nontravelers undergoing similar surgical procedures, long-haul travelers had a higher incidence of VTE (4.9% vs 0.15%; P<.001). Compared with nontravelers who developed VTE, travelers were younger (P=.006), developed VTE earlier in the postoperative course (P=.01). had higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification (P=.02), and had higher prevalence of smoking (P=.007). Of the 11 travelers with VTE, 10 were of Middle Eastern origin. CONCLUSION: Prolonged air travel before major surgery significantly increases the risk of perioperative VTE. Such patients should receive more intensive VTE prophylactic measures during the flight and throughout the perioperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-731
Number of pages4
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Volume80
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005

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Air Travel
Thromboembolism
Prescriptions
Incidence
Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
Perioperative Period
North America
Medical Records
Smoking
Databases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Long-haul air travel before major surgery : A prescription for thromboembolism? / Gajic, Ognjen; Warner, David Oman; Decker, Paul A.; Rana, Rimki; Bourke, Denis L.; Sprung, Juraj.

In: Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 80, No. 6, 2005, p. 728-731.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gajic, O, Warner, DO, Decker, PA, Rana, R, Bourke, DL & Sprung, J 2005, 'Long-haul air travel before major surgery: A prescription for thromboembolism?', Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 80, no. 6, pp. 728-731.
Gajic, Ognjen ; Warner, David Oman ; Decker, Paul A. ; Rana, Rimki ; Bourke, Denis L. ; Sprung, Juraj. / Long-haul air travel before major surgery : A prescription for thromboembolism?. In: Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2005 ; Vol. 80, No. 6. pp. 728-731.
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N2 - OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence of postoperative venous thromboembollsm (VTE) in patients who had flown long distances before major surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using the Mayo Clinic computerized patient database, we identified patients who had flown more than 5000 km before major surgery (travelers) and had experienced an episode of clinically significant VTE within 28 days after surgery. Individual medical records were reviewed for the diagnosis of VTE, pertinent risk factors, and outcome. We compared the incidence of VTE in travelers to the incidence of VTE in patients from North America (nontravelers) undergoing similar surgical procedures. RESULTS: Eleven patients met our criteria for long-haul air travel and clinically significant VTE within 28 days after surgery. Compared with nontravelers undergoing similar surgical procedures, long-haul travelers had a higher incidence of VTE (4.9% vs 0.15%; P<.001). Compared with nontravelers who developed VTE, travelers were younger (P=.006), developed VTE earlier in the postoperative course (P=.01). had higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification (P=.02), and had higher prevalence of smoking (P=.007). Of the 11 travelers with VTE, 10 were of Middle Eastern origin. CONCLUSION: Prolonged air travel before major surgery significantly increases the risk of perioperative VTE. Such patients should receive more intensive VTE prophylactic measures during the flight and throughout the perioperative period.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence of postoperative venous thromboembollsm (VTE) in patients who had flown long distances before major surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using the Mayo Clinic computerized patient database, we identified patients who had flown more than 5000 km before major surgery (travelers) and had experienced an episode of clinically significant VTE within 28 days after surgery. Individual medical records were reviewed for the diagnosis of VTE, pertinent risk factors, and outcome. We compared the incidence of VTE in travelers to the incidence of VTE in patients from North America (nontravelers) undergoing similar surgical procedures. RESULTS: Eleven patients met our criteria for long-haul air travel and clinically significant VTE within 28 days after surgery. Compared with nontravelers undergoing similar surgical procedures, long-haul travelers had a higher incidence of VTE (4.9% vs 0.15%; P<.001). Compared with nontravelers who developed VTE, travelers were younger (P=.006), developed VTE earlier in the postoperative course (P=.01). had higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification (P=.02), and had higher prevalence of smoking (P=.007). Of the 11 travelers with VTE, 10 were of Middle Eastern origin. CONCLUSION: Prolonged air travel before major surgery significantly increases the risk of perioperative VTE. Such patients should receive more intensive VTE prophylactic measures during the flight and throughout the perioperative period.

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