British officials were due Wednesday to direct airlines to issue health warnings with long-distance flight tickets, alerting passengers to the dangers of such in-flight threats as the formation of blood clots as a result of cramped plane conditions, The Times of London reported. The House of Lords, Science and Technology Committee is expected to make a series of tough recommendations to airlines on all aspects of health and hygiene, calling for a ticket health warning that will be similar to those on cigarette packages. According to the report, as many as 30,000 people die each year from deep vein blood clots, with pregnant women, smokers and those with heart disease most in danger. Passengers are at risk because blood flow in the legs may be slowed by immobility, dehydration and cramped conditions. Crews have not been trained to recognize and treat early symptoms. The committee is also expected to focus on the dangers of alcohol freely distributed by airlines to passengers in business and first-class. Alcohol dramatically worsens dehydration and puts passengers at greater risk of blood clots. The committee will warn airlines to stop the practice of economizing on air-conditioning. Airlines tend to turn down air-conditioning during delays before take-off and during the night when passengers are asleep, effectively making people breathe stale air. This has led to the rapid spread of germs and influenza. All passengers will be cautioned against "sitting like puddings," and overdrinking alcohol, and instead advised to exercise their legs as much as possible and to drink plenty of water. The Times said accident and emergency departments close to Heathrow Airport receive at least two long-distance passengers a week with blood clots. It said health officials in one area of England recorded 142 deaths from blood clots during a one-year period ending in April. It is believed that many of the victims had been on long-distance airline flights, UPI reports.
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