Tags: video | game | blood | clot | thrombosis | dvt

Man Gets Blood Clots After Video Game Marathon

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 05:06 PM

By Nick Tate

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Perhaps video games should carry a warning label — against foolishness. Doctors are reporting a rare case of a person developing life-threatening blood clots from playing video games for four days.

The case involved a young man from New Zealand who developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in his leg after four days of playing PlayStation games, according to a report on the LiveScience Website.

DVT is a sometimes deadly condition that causes blood clots to develop within leg veins that can break off, travel through the bloodstream, and block an artery bringing blood to a lung — a condition called pulmonary embolism.

Typically, DVT strikes when people are sitting for too long, as during a long car ride or a plane trip. It also happens after an injury or surgery requiring extended bedrest.

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The unusual case involved a 31-year-old painter who spent eight hours on four consecutive days sitting on his bed playing PlayStation games. By the second day, he developed pain and swelling in left leg, but continued to play video games for two more days. When he finally went to the hospital because of the pain and swelling, the doctors found clots in multiple areas of the man's leg veins, and gave him medications to dissolve the clots.

Doctors recommend people take breaks from sitting and walk around every few hours, drink enough water, and do regular leg exercise if they have to sit for a long time.

Other risk factors for developing DVT include smoking, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. About 300,000 to 600,000 Americans develop DVT or pulmonary embolism each year, and that 60,000 to 100,000 people die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the new report of "gamer thrombosis" is that it isn't the first documented case. DVT has previously caused deaths in some cases of gamers, the doctors noted, including a 20-year-old Xbox player in the U.K. who spent 12 hours a day online and died in 2011.

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