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A Medical Warning for Video Gamers

  • A Medical Warning for Video Gamers

    A Medical Warning for Video Gamers (304)

    (NewsUSA) - Video gamers who participate in marathon sessions may be putting their health at risk.

    In May 2011, a 20-year-old video gamer from England died when a blood clot formed in his leg and moved to his lungs. The man often remained in the same position playing video games for 12 hours straight.

    "Movement is essential for proper blood flow," said Anil Hingorani, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. "Sitting in the same position for long periods of time -- whether playing video games or cramped in a car or on an airplane -- can result in pooling of the blood in the veins. Blood clots known as deep vein thromboses (DVT) can form."

    The 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics reveal that 300,000 to 600,000 Americans die each year from blood clots in the lungs. In 2003, 39-year-old NBC News reporter David Bloom died when a blood clot in his leg traveled to his lungs. The clot formed after weeks of driving around Baghdad in a cramped military tank.

    "Stand up and stretch," advises Dr. Hingorani. "Walk around. Raise and lower your heels and toes. Tighten and release your leg muscles. This will help promote blood flow."

    DVTs usually occur in persons who are sick and have had long hospital stays. The risk factors for DVTs include the following:

    * obesity

    * a history of heart attacks

    * strokes

    * congestive heart failure

    * inflammatory bowel disease

    Women who are pregnant, nursing or taking birth control pills are also at increased risk for DVTs.

    Half of DVT patients do not experience the warning signs, which include:

    * swelling

    * tenderness

    * leg pain

    * a sensation of warmth

    * skin that turns blue or red

    Ultrasound tests can detect blood clots. Treatment options typically use anticoagulant medication.

    For additional information about DVTs or other vascular health conditions, visit