In the News

Design Systems R&D Warns of DVT Death Risks

Mobility Seating Technologies Hoped to Reduce Deaths from Deep Vein Thrombosis

San Diego, CA

Inventor, Craig Linden is working on possible solutions for travelers’ deaths caused by deep vein thrombosis, “DVT”. The British Travel Health Association estimates that 2,000 airline passengers die annually from DVT in Great Britain alone.

Linden says DVT is a major killer ~ a faceless and silent terrorist aboard long-range flights and buses. Yet, most Americans don’t know anything about the dangers of DVT. Each year DVT kills more travelers than airline accidents, according to in Washington, DC.

Deep vein thrombosis begins with blood clots forming in the veins of the legs during hours of immobility. When mobility resumes (for instance, once a passenger deplanes) the clots can break free of the vein, traveling to the heart and lungs causing an embolism, which can cause sudden death. Survivors may suffer DVT’s various non-lethal ill effects within weeks of their long flights, etc. Dr. David Grosser stated that at least three members of the British Olympic team suffered DVT after their long-haul flight from the United Kingdom to Australia for last year’s Olympics.

According to a news article by, after the death of Ms. Emma Christopherson, a young adult passenger on a 20-hour flight from Australia to London, major airlines are beginning to pursue ways to assist fliers with the prevention of DVT. Sixteen major airlines attended an historic closed-door World Health Organization’ DVT meeting March 13-14, 2001, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Linden feels the American public needs to be aware of DVT. Long-haul travelers should first contact their doctors to best learn how to reduce the risk of DVT. Improving circulation via increased mobility during long-haul airline flights is important. However, the isles are narrow and are often blocked by airline employees or carts, so the congestion of additional people moving freely throughout the aircraft can be dangerous. Passengers must also use their seat belts for rough weather and for other safety reasons.

Geoffrey Tudor, director of international public relations for Japan Airlines, said that medical findings might suggest a better seat or leg-rest. Likewise, Linden believes that one promising solution might be the development and deployment of physical active powered seating systems. In one design, the seats would extend down to the calves. The calf contact area would have programmed motorized rollers (beneath the fabric/cushion) to periodically help move the blood upward.

Another possible design has the buttocks support area of the seat split in two sections ~ left and right (not visually evident by looking at the seat). Two opposing, microprocessor-controlled air cushions would inflate/deflate thereby relieving pressure on the veins while simulating a walking motion. This articulated seating motion might also help to relieve tension in the back muscles and provide a limited form of seated-exercise. Linden says the calf muscles are the heart pumps of the lower body. To help exercise the legs while sitting he has designed self powered and even powered foot exercisers to encourage leg blood return to the heart.

Linden hopes that, following successful third party testing of various designs and combinations, seats incorporating the new powered mobility mechanisms will be made available to at least passengers identified at high risk for DVT. He hopes to gain assistance from major airlines and others in the transportation industry.

According to Linden, the patent-pending technology should help lower DVT risks. Mobility seating will also improve comfort and lower stress for many who confined for endless hours ~ whether traveling via air, land or sea ~ or even when glued to our desks. Craig Linden, CEO of Design Systems R&D can be reached via email at or by phone at 1-619-445-3563.



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Craig Linden
Phone: 619-445-3563

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