It is interesting that there are so many different ways that a DVT can develop. According to Marsh and Hall (2002) ‘a total of 21 airlines, including British Airways and Virgin, are named in the unprecedented High Court action. The airlines are facing 33 test cases on deep vein thromboses.
DVT is defined as a blood clot that appears in the thigh or lower leg (National Health Lung and Blood Institute, 2009). According to Qutub (2007), venous thrombi majorly develop within a deep vein at a site of vascular trauma and in areas of sluggish blood flow (e.g venous sinuses of the calf and within a valve cusp). An accumulation of fibrin and platelets causes rapid growth in the direction of the blood flow, potentially reducing venous return (Qutub, 2007). Endogenous fibrinolysis causes partial or complete resolution of the thrombus. The residual thrombus will reorganize and the vein may recanalize incompletely, resulting in the narrowing of the lumen and valvular incompetency, and an extensive collateral network may develop.
DVT is very prevalent with an annual occurance of 80 cases in every 100,000 (Patel, 2011). .A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus. When the embolus travels to the lungs blocking the blood flow, the condition is called Pulmonary Embolism (PE) (National Health Lung and Blood Institute, 2009). PE can become so severe, damaging other organs and eventually cause death.
The haemostatic system is made up of two systems: platelets and the coagulation proteins. In the absence of vessel injury or inflammation, platelets do not adhere to the endothelium because unstimulated endothelium has no receptors for unstimulated platelets, and also because the endothelium produces nitric oxide and prostacyclin that maintain the platelets in the unactivated state, which impairs their adhesion (Conde