DVT: Not just in M-ATVs
In any case, space within combat vehicles is at a premium. Today's vetronics are critical to mission success and soldier safety, and command a great deal of space, making for a cramped interior in which o ne or more soldiers must sit for extended periods.
Images of combat vehicle interiors caused me to remember David Bloom, a rising star at NBC News who traveled from the White House to become one of the most frequently-seen TV reporters on the Iraqi desert, according to an NBC representative.
In April 2003, David Bauder, a journalist with the Associated Press, wrote:
The network was shocked when the 39-year-old Bloom died suddenly in Iraq, not from a battlefield injury but from an apparent blood clot that caused him to collapse and never regain consciousness.
NBC News had built a special vehicle, dubbed the "Bloom-mobile," to send strikingly clear pictures of him riding atop a tank through the Iraqi desert.
Bloom told the Post. "You're sleeping with your knees propped up around you."
I, like others, cannot help but wonder how many soldiers have suffered the same fate, as a result of cramped quarters for days, weeks, and months at a time. Soldiers on the battlefield are not the only people falling victim to blood clots that start in their legs and travel to their lungs. Virtually anyone who spends excessive time at a desk also run the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is defined as the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein.
Her doctor told her that her only risk factor was that she spent significant time seated at a computer. That solitary factor could have led to her demise. She simply worked too long each day/night.
Being inundated with work might be unavoidable, but DVT is avoidable. Be certain to stretch your legs every 15 or 20 minutes. Rather than send an internal e-mail message, perhaps deliver the message in person. Drink a lot of fluids at your desk, so your body will force you to make a trip to the lavatory periodically throughout the day. Something, anything to get the blood flowing through those legs. You too are a soldier, and we need you on the front lines.