In 2011, a 20-year-old UK gamer died from a blood clot after sitting and playing Xbox 360 for up to 12 hours a day. Sadly, the young man was relatively healthy with no underlying medical condition but tragically ended his life with a fatal clot. Just recently in June and while on COVID-19 lockdown, a 24-year-old, healthy football coach from Hertfordshire has died similarly after spending most of the lockdown period playing video games. Both of these incidents were confirmed cases of DVT or deep vein thrombosis.
DVT is a blood clot that forms in one of the deep veins in the body usually occurring in the leg. It causes pain and swelling which can lead to serious complications when it breaks off into the bloodstream and cause blockage to the heart, lungs, or brain — a condition known as embolism.
DVT results in extended periods of inactivity, such as sitting on a long plane ride, car journey or playing video games.
Why are Gamers More at Risk of Developing DVT?
Gamers spend considerable amount of time just sitting and not moving their legs more often. Blood flow through the lower limbs slows down, thickens, and accumulates over time to form a clot. Since gaming is a stationary activity and players can spend long hours, and even days, immersed in a gaming session, the risk for developing a Gamer's Thrombosis is high.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of DVT?
DVT can occur without noticeable symptoms and can be difficult to spot, but if you experience the following, immediately seek a doctor’s advice:
While DVT restricts blood flow and prevents delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body, the real danger comes when a formed clot dislodges and travels to different parts of the body and causes a blockage. The warning signs and symptoms of an embolism include:
Ways to Prevent Gamer's thrombosis While Gaming
For instruction on how to target your calf muscles, an area where blood clots usually form, check here.
Precaution:Deep tissue percussive vibration therapy may not be safe if you’ve already developed a blood clot due to the risk of embolism. Always make sure to ask a doctor’s advice before using a deep tissue percussive massager.
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