Awareness of venous thromboembolism during long-haul flights among medical students – what do they really know about its prevention and treatment?
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Doctoral School, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of General and Vascular Surgery, Angiology and Phlebology, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Students’ Scientific Surgical Association, Department of General and Vascular Surgery, Angiology and Phlebology, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Maciej Krzysztof Wołkowski   

Katedra i Klinika Chirurgii Ogólnej, Naczyń, Angiologii i Flebologii, Górnośląskie Centrum Medyczne im. prof. Leszka Gieca SUM, ul. Ziołowa 45/47, 40-635 Katowice
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2022;76:14–20
Worldwide air traffic reaches about 2.3 billion passengers annually. A complication of long-haul flights is venous thromboembolism (VTE). It manifests itself as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE). Despite the relatively high incidence of this disease, access to information about its risk factors as well as effective prevention is limited due to a small number of generally available articles and also the lack of sufficient attention to this problem by lecturers and doctors. In the study, an assessment of the awareness and knowledge related to the risk of VTE during long-haul flights among medical students was performed.

Material and methods:
The study was performed from 10th of November 2017 till 28th of February 2018 in a group of 100 medical students from the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice. The study was conducted based on a survey questionnaire, which included 12 questions concerning the knowledge of the incidence and pathogenesis of VTE connected with long-haul flights. The participants of the study based their responses on knowledge acquired at university.

The correct incidence rate of VTE associated with air flights was indicated by 43% the respondents. None of the students correctly indicated the VTE risk factors. 40% of the respondents was familiar with the pathogenesis of VTE occurring as a result of flights. The fact that 100% was aware that appropriate clothing can reduce the risk of VTE during flights was satisfying.

The survey results show a low level of knowledge as well as awareness of the risk of VTE during flights in the population of the medical university students. The results of the survey should be included in the planning of the scope of classes in medical studies on the problems of VTE.

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