DVT by Video Games

Deep Vein Thrombosis in Atlanta & Video GamesPlaying up to twelve hours of video games each day, 20-year-old Chris Staniforth died in May of 2012 from a deep vein thrombosis after a long night of gaming.

Unfortunately, this situation isn’t unique to Chris. Children who spend consecutive hours sitting in front of the television or computer in Atlanta and North Georgia are at risk for deep vein thrombosis. Research suggests that playing video games on the TV or computer for long periods can cause sleep problems, memory issues, repetitive strain injuries and may also be linked to obesity. As if these health risks weren’t enough —playing games for extended periods can increase the risk for a deadly blood clot formation, as was discovered in Chris’s situation too late.

There are many variables that put children and adults at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis. In addition to sitting for extended periods of time, the following factors play a role in DVT development:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Blood disorder
  • Deep vein injury or surgery

How to Spot DVT

Most symptoms of DVT occur in the leg affected by the blood clot. Leg swelling or swelling along the vein, pain in the leg and red or discolored skin are all symptoms of DVT. If DVT has traveled to the lungs (pulmonary embolism),  symptoms can include shortness of breath, pain during breathing and coughing up blood. Make sure to ask your children if they experience any of these symptoms while playing games. Children will often ignore such symptoms to continue playing games uninterrupted.

Video Games or DVT? That is the Question

You don’t have to give up playing video games for good to avoid deep vein thrombosis. Making simple changes to yours or your child’s video game lifestyle can help reduce the risk of developing DVT.

  1. Get up and walk around for three minutes after every 15 minutes of game play.
  2. Parents can set limits on the number of hours their children play games per day.
  3. Invest in video games that require movement and standing like the Wii.

Making changes to other lifestyle factors can further reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis development. Encouraging active family time like playing sports, as well as eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and reducing sodium intake are all healthy ways to ward off DVT. If you think you or your child is at risk of DVT, it’s wise to speak with your vein specialist in North Georgia.

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