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Games Entertainment

Computer Game Player Gets Blood Clot In Leg 114

Posted by simoniker
from the wiggle-periodically-or-die dept.
Thanks to BBC News for its article discussing a UK teenager who developed a blood clot in his leg after playing videogames in one position for too long. The piece explains: "Dominic Patrick, 14, from Merseyside, developed deep vein thrombosis after a rainy day inside with a games console... The potentially dangerous condition was caused because Dominic had his legs tucked under his body." A doctor interviewed suggested this was a relatively rare case, however: "The only risk factor we could find in this case was the fact that Dominic had sat on his legs for 10 hours playing computer games without moving... [however, it] doesn't mean that the government should be putting health warnings on PlayStations."
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Computer Game Player Gets Blood Clot In Leg

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  • evolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cowscows (103644) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:13PM (#8136053) Journal
    Evolution has provided the human body with an excellent defense against this sort of thing. It's called a bladder.


    How can you sit in one place for 10 hours?

    • by CptChipJew (301983)
      I read of an Everquest player that had his kids taken away because he was neglecting them to the point of starvation.

      A guy in Korea has an annuerism because he played Counterstrike for something like 72 hours straight.

      These people DO exist, though I've yet to meet one.
    • Re:evolution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:21PM (#8136163)
      Not only is it called a bladder, it's also called "your limbs falling asleep".

      I'm sure people will use this as some sort of anti-videogame fodder, but it should be pointed out that DVT also occurs in people flying on airplanes, traveling in trains or buses for long trips, etc. It is also more likely (I believe) in those who are severely overweight.

      And yeah... how do you sit perfectly still for 10 hours? I'm extremely sedentary and I work at a computer for a living, but even I have to get up every few hours for a soda or a bite to eat or to take a dump or a leak - or at least to move around and reposition myself comfortably. I certainly wouldn't "sit on my legs" for 10 hours straight.

      Oh well. Another point to show that evolution exists, I guess!
      • Re:evolution (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:24PM (#8136214)
        This could happen to anyone who works at a computer for a living, of course. Videogaming gives you the same oppertunity for it to occur as, say, coding or being a managerial type that is tied to your computer/office. Even security guards in some places. Anyone who sits and never ever moves *and* has poor health to boot is going to be at risk. This article is a "BFD" piece.
        • by bigman2003 (671309) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:56PM (#8136628) Homepage
          Okay- sad stupid story..

          You mentioned 'security guards'. I was in the Army, and I was supposedly guarding something stupid (like a nuclear missle, or something like that). Well, I was sitting in a chair that was low, and deep (you see them on every Army base). Eventually, I figured that the Russkies wouldn't attack that day, and I fell asleep.

          A few hours (?) later, someone came to check on the security detail (me) and he walked up, and saw I was asleep. He started yelling at me- totally pissed off. I woke up, saw that it was a Major, and tried to snap to attention.

          Because I had been sleeping in the chair so long, and the type of chair cut off circulation to my legs, my muscles wouldn't work at all. I fell to the ground, and I couldn't stand up. I literally had to lay there while this guy started yelling and screaming at me, telling me I wasn't doing my job, etc. (It's pretty obvious to me, while I am laying down with useless legs...)

          After about 2 minutes of him screaming at me to get up, salute, stand at attention, etc. he finally figured out I had a real problem. So he called our medics, and they came to get me on a stretcher. Eventually they took me to the hospital for a checkup.

          Of course I had to go along with this now, and I told them that the last thing I remember was walking on my rounds, and I must have passed out or something. They kept me in the hospital for a day. I felt like a real jackass, but telling them that I was sleeping there so long that my legs became useless just wasn't a good option.
      • by Cipster (623378) on Friday January 30, 2004 @03:17PM (#8137616)
        Thank goodness for smoking breaks. It's great for my cardiovascular system! Oh wait....Nevermind.
      • I'm extremely sedentary and I work at a computer for a living, but even I have to get up every few hours for a soda...

        May I suggest that as you're extremely sedentary that you stop drinking sodas. Drink water.

    • Well there are a couple ways to sit in one place, one friend of mine swore by the don't eat or drink anything method. Another friend of mine told me that they used a catheter. I don't know but either way I still couldn't sit in the same place for more than a couple hours.
    • How can you sit in one place for 10 hours?

      Slashdot Addiction (I really want that first post)
    • He survived; in this case natural selection has failed to remove some dodgy genes from the pool.
    • Evolution has provided the human body with an excellent defense against this sort of thing. It's called a bladder.

      And human-kind has come up with an invention designed to foil evolution in this case. They're called diapers.
      • Not too much foiling here. I mean, can it honestly be comfortable to sit in one's excrement for any legnth of time? Hopefully even if the moron, kid rather, were to use such... I'd hope he'd have the decency, sense of disgust, or the ovewhelming stench to help convince him getting up to change said diaper would be a good idea.
    • Be careful when you mention "evolution" in Georgia. Some people [cnn.com] might not like it.
    • Re:evolution (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kent_Franken (92437)
      I developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after a flight from the US to the Ukraine. After it was repaired (months of taking anti-coagulation medicine dissolved it) I asked my Doctor what I could do to avoid this next time I take a long flight. He told me to drink lots of water. When I asked him if that was to keep my blood from getting too thick, he said it was just to make me get up every hour or so to go to the bathroom.

      So yes, if you don't want a DVT, get up and stretch your legs and do some deep knee ben
    • How can you sit in one place for 10 hours?
      One word: addiction [com.com]. People, even addicts, tend to look as addiction as a simple failure of will. Whatever "will" is, it doesn't show up on an MRI. What does show up is your limbic system getting rewired so that gratifying your addiction overrides all other urges. Including eating, sleeping, and, yes, pissing.
  • I mean, what kind of skinny-ass nerd wouldn't get up for food/soda at least once every 3 hours?
  • What game? (Score:3, Funny)

    by redune45 (194113) <slashdot.redune@com> on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:14PM (#8136070) Homepage
    What I want to know is what game was it that kept him so hooked, and where can I get a copy?
  • by lightspawn (155347) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:15PM (#8136080) Homepage
    Which game?
  • "We already knew video games were evil. Now we know that they can KILL YOU, too!"

    Won't somebody please think of the children?

  • bias (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:19PM (#8136136)
    This is just biased reporting. You never read anything about the kid that missed the bus because he was playing video games before school, only to find out later the bus exploded when it crashed into a truckload of dynamite, or something.

    Or that kid that is saved the humiliation of asking that one cheerleader out to prom because him and his buddies are planning a Halo Party that saturday.

    Leave it to the media to only report on the bad things.
    • Howabout a story about the cheerleader who was date raped by the jock of the school all because the really nice guy she liked didn't ask her out even though she had been hinting and peer presure meant she had to go to the prom?

      Come on. Tell the complete story.

  • by imitier (674794) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:21PM (#8136171)
    His father told a newspaper: "This just proves that DVT can affect even the fittest and healthiest of children."
    Somehow I doubt that a kid who can, and does, put in 10 hours straight playing videogames is the "fittest and healthiest of children." My guess is that the 10-hours type of kid is something less than fit and healthy.
    • When a parent talks about their kid being "healthy" it can sometimes mean "porkchop." Funny how that works.
    • Somehow I doubt that a kid who can, and does, put in 10 hours straight playing videogames is the "fittest and healthiest of children." My guess is that the 10-hours type of kid is something less than fit and healthy.

      It did state that it was a rainy day. Once the kid is stuck indoors, he's much more likely to do something that involves little or no movement, especially after his parents have yelled at him a couple of times for running around in the house. He could've just as easily been working on a puzzle
  • I wish... (Score:5, Funny)

    by benlinkknilneb (708649) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:23PM (#8136202) Journal
    I wish I had his attention span... but unfortunately I can't even finish a
  • wasn't there a case where an australian girl developed thrombosis from sitting on an international flight for too long? guess i should go googling...
  • by Jim Hall (2985) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:24PM (#8136213) Homepage

    "The only risk factor we could find in this case was the fact that Dominic had sat on his legs for 10 hours playing computer games without moving... [however, it] doesn't mean that the government should be putting health warnings on PlayStations."

    No, we should be putting them on XBoxes, which is what he was playing at the time (as suggested by the XBox photo attached to the article.) So now we know the truth: Microsoft products are a health problem.

    • Aw crap- I was hoping to be the first to mention the Xbox, and try to put a positive spin on it.

      Like "See, the Xbox really does have good games- this little kid was glued to the TV for 10 hours!"

      Xbox- so good it hurts.

      Microsoft should use this in marketing campaigns. Maybe this is some really skinny kid missing teeth, with a bad haircut, and some jelly on his face.

      "Wonth I gotsh my Xbotchs, I dun do nuffin elsthe no more" Xbox- where would you have gone today?
    • This whole incident reminds me of the kids Nintendo had to give special gloves too because they messed up their hands playing some N64 game. What was it, Mario Party? Perhaps SSB?
  • I think this boy should attend a sitting competition. The world record is 167 days of sitting - on a small platform without a Playstation or similar entertainment devices.
  • My god... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    My first reaction, which I'm not terribly proud of, was:

    "Ha ha! What a loser!"
  • The Lesson (Score:4, Funny)

    by Flwyd (607088) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:42PM (#8136439) Homepage
    Whenever your character jumps, you should also jump. And here's a tip: if you want to make a really sharp left turn, jerk the controller to the left. It helps.
  • by Corfitz (669547) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:44PM (#8136446)
    I don't have to play computer games for more than 15 minutes before my head and neck starts to hurt. It usually starts right after my wife tries to slap my headphone off while screaming "ARE YOU SITTING THERE AGAIN! HOW COME YOU CAN FIND THE TIME TO ..." (I usually stop listening around this point).

    Should I see a doctor?

  • by mugnyte (203225) * on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:44PM (#8136449) Journal

    Blood clot!? Pshaw! Walk it off soldier.

    You shoulda seen our palms after trying to complete the Activision Decathalon on the Atari 2600. Bloddy mess! Or the sore thumbs from combo-attacks in the early fight games. Like two yams, I tell you!

    I got over my ADD by having to wait for the tape to play the game into the C64. DungeonSomething took like 30 minutes. I treated that tape like the chalice in the Vatican. It slowly cranked while I shook like a drugged monkey watching it, screaming.

    I learned the subtle differences in repetative images by playing Pitfall! I could time scorpion steps in my sleep.

    When feeling lethargic, I put in Activision's Warlord. More epileptic-seizure-inducing flashes that a night at the Oscars. I think I'm still twitching.

    And we had NO pause buttons, wimps!

    Sheesh, kids got it so easy these days.

  • In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pudge_lightyear (313465) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:47PM (#8136485) Homepage
    In other news, runner dies of heart attack during morning jog.

    2 points.

    1. You can get hurt or die regardless of who you are and what you're doing.

    2. This is only a story becuase of 2 other reasons.
    2.a. Video-gamers are seen by the rest of society as lazy and dumb... so are naturally good targets.
    2.b. This doesn't happen often so it's news.
    • Re:In other news (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Flunitrazepam (664690)
      Well... running has uncountable health benefits, and playing games does not.

      Kind of an unfair analogy.

      Yea you can get hit by a church bingo bus jogging, but the chances that you are living a well adjusted and healthier life are certainly better than if you played video games for 10 hours.
  • by limekiller4 (451497) on Friday January 30, 2004 @01:48PM (#8136506) Homepage
    I was working in a NOCC about two years back when I got a blood clot too. It was pretty !@#$ing painful, I thought I'd gotten a hairline fracture in my pelvis -- I was just walking down the street when bam!

    This resulted in a few days in the hospital (IIRC, the bill came out to something like $5k just for 2-3 days). After that, I was on fragmin which is injectable, and you do that yourself. In my case I found a spot around my bellbutton, pinch that area, then throw the needle in. Sounds terrible, wasn't that bad once you got the hang of stabbing yourself with a needle. Then six months of warfarin, a blood thinner. This is the prime ingredient in rat poison, I should mention, because it causes rats to just start bleeding to death.

    All in all it was an entirely unpleasant experience. You also have to return to some location every two weeks for them to take blood to make sure your warfarin dose does not need tweaking.

    I'm convinced that it was linked to my job at the NOCC but it wasn't until about a year later that I actually saw links coming out in the medical journals between sitting for long periods and DVT. Previously it was thought to occur mainly in long-distance flights. Also known as Second Class Syndrome (or something. =)

    It seems to me that if DVT is caused by sitting, cramped, for long durations, where you're sitting and where you're going really don't factor in. The connection between sitting for long periods and getting DVT seems to be pretty clear.

    Besides, it wouldn't suck to have OSHA mandate really awesome chairs for all of us, right? =D
    • So, to sum up...

      Not only did you get a blood clot in the pelvic area...

      You had to stab yourself with a needle for 6 months.

      Times like this make me glad I drink a little caffeine to keep the blood thin, and get my ass to the gym 2 or 3 times a week.

      I feel bad for you...just goes to show that there are unmentionable types of pain that I don't even know about yet...
      • Close. I only had to stab myself with a needle for about a week or two. After that it was tablets.

        From what I was told, Fragmin has a sort of opposite effect when it begins. When you first start taking it, it actually makes your blood thicker. If you keep taking it, it makes your blood thinner. Then, once you get it in a zone, you continue with the warfarin and drop the Fragmin. The Fragmin is just there to get the viscosity where you need it asap and the warfarin is to wear down the clot. If that c
    • My father works closely with OSHA.

      I'll mention it.
    • This resulted in a few days in the hospital (IIRC, the bill came out to something like $5k just for 2-3 days).

      Well that's America for you: profit from the sick and injured.
    • I was working in a NOCC about two years back when I got a blood clot too. It was pretty !@#$ing painful, I thought I'd gotten a hairline fracture in my pelvis -- I was just walking down the street when bam!

      I'm currently recovering from a DVT that ran all the way from just below my groin into my calf. I didn't notice the symptoms until it felt like my whole leg had cramped up, then 3 days later (still cramped) I was in the hospital after noticing my leg was 3x the size of the other.

      I had thought the b

    • (Never thought I'd be participating in a convo about anti-coagulants on /., heh.)

      I've been on Coumadin (commercial brand for warfarin) for around 3 years now to treat atrial fibrillation, i.e. arrhythmia or a persistently irregular heartbeat. There is no real cure for it, but sometimes electroshock therapy can "trick" the heart into resuming normal operation. I'm not kidding, either... probably one of the only times you would have the electro-paddles slapped on your chest and not be practically dead -- y

  • How unfortunate (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gmhowell (26755)
    How unfortunate... That he lived. For fucks sake, what a gawddamn loser.

    And there already are plenty of warnings on video game consoles. I can't open a manual or catalog for my GC without repeated references to seizures. The only question is whether or not they'll add 'don't sit on your dead ass' warnings before or after the inevitable lawsuit. Oh, UK teen. Maybe there won't be a lawsuit.
    • Actually, I've seen game manuals and warnings that said, take breaks every couple of hours, stand up, walk around and do other things for a bit to keep from getting carple tunnel or the like. I'm amazed that he never did get up. Considering after about 30 minutes, my legs usually start to go numb.
    • And there already are plenty of warnings on video game consoles.

      My dualshock owner's manual states that I should take a 15 minute break from playing every 30 minutes (approx, I don't remember the exact times).

      He ignored the safety warnings, even if he wasn't playing PS2, I'm sure the Xbox has similar lawerspeak in its manuals.

      Also, you are not supposed to put your dualshock on your head or limbs, nor to lay it on the floor during gameplay. And the first game I played when I got it was Metal Gear Solid,
      • Also, you are not supposed to put your dualshock on your head or limbs, nor to lay it on the floor during gameplay.

        So I can assume, then, that laying it on your genitals is a company-authorized use? :)
  • no way i can sit for 10 hours in front of the screen, w/out having to get up and go walk outside for a smoke. And just think of all the exercise my lungs get w/ all the extra inhaling ;)
  • Healthy gaming (Score:3, Informative)

    by Psykechan (255694) on Friday January 30, 2004 @02:20PM (#8136937)
    Every current console game has warnings in the manual for seizures and most have warnings for repetitve stress injuries. I can see blood clots being added to the list.

    Microsoft also recommends [xbox.com] some healthy gaming methods that should be followed.

    I don't expect to see a surgeon general's warning on game boxes anytime soon.
  • by Metal_Demon (694989) on Friday January 30, 2004 @02:39PM (#8137170)
    It's a shame that parents aren't teaching their kids proper gaming techniques.
  • Let me see if I get this straight, you think is healthy for anyone to stay in a uncomfortable position for 10 straight hours? some common sense here people.

  • (See subject.)

    Obviously we can afford more dangerous videogames until this kind of idiocy results in death.
  • A periodic brake reminder:

    "You lazy bummer, stop salivating about Lara and take a break"

    Or something about those paternalistic lines.
  • [however, it] doesn't mean that the government should be putting health warnings on PlayStations

    No, but I'm sure it'll happen anyways.
    • I say we just cut to the chase and start labeling absolutely everything with sweeping generalizations, like:

      "You could die."

      Banana: "You could die."
      Bicycle: "You could die."
      Bible: "You could die."

      Possible variations might include:

      Botox: "You should die."
      Bawls: "You will die, much sooner."

  • He wasn't jumping on the "blame games" bandwagon.

    There is some common sense left in the world.
  • doesn't mean that the government should be putting health warnings on PlayStations There ARE warnings. The safety warning says very clearly that for every hour of play, you should take a 15 minute break.
  • I find it extremely hard to find a game nowadays I can be interested in for more than two or three hours before wandering off to look at something shiny or a red car or ... what was I talking about?
  • by raygundan (16760) on Friday January 30, 2004 @04:13PM (#8138140) Homepage
    Seriously. This is a case of video games being guilty by association. The kid's DVT was caused by sitting, not by video games. People get this on long airplane flights on a regular basis. Reason? Not the flying-- it's the *sitting*.

    Oh well. Blaming it on the playstation makes a catchier headline.
  • This doesn't exactly relate to the news report but, some games have messages or alerts that tells a player that he/she should stop playing. This may be a unique case but in the game Dungeon Keeper 2, if you set your computer clock to some insane time like 3 AM in the morning and play some of the messages were basicly along the lines of "Even dungeon keepers need to rest. Go to bed."

    Who knows? Maybe games like The Sims 2 will feature a similar messages or MMORPGs for players who remain active for long period

  • Black & White (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Friday January 30, 2004 @04:19PM (#8138189) Homepage Journal
    Once, after playing Black & White for 6 hours straight, the lil' demon helper came out of nowhere and said "Its gettin' kinda late boss, maybe you should take a rest". I hadn't noticed the time, realised it was late indeed and I had work the next day, saved and quit.

    That was cool, and apparently it was a life-saver!
    • Dungeon Keeper 2 has a whole bunch of timed audio cues like that. I, however, ignored those warnings.
    • they should make something like this for /.!
    • Heh. Which reminds me, there's only like two games that I've played that have real-time clock visible at least at some part of the UI: MechCommander and MOO3. More games should have on-screen clock! Maybe the addictive kind of games should have some sort of alarm system too...

  • Dominic was a dumb ass
    Who played too long with numb ass

    Thank you.
  • I've read the article, and I think it just goes to show how biased the media are that this got reported with the headline " Computer game teenager gets DVT ", rather than something like " Teenager gets DVT from sitting awkwardly for too long ", which is what really happened.
    Surely the kid felt his legs going numb? I know that when I was a kid, I would have tended to move or something if I noticed that my leg was falling asleep. I bet some loony pro-health group somewhere will get all over gaming's case 'co
  • As I grew up and got older I noticed that I could no longer tolerate such marathon stretches of sitting.

    Or maybe it was because I was sitting *more* often than when I was younger.

    In any case, when it bothered me I'd figure out a new position, usually lying down or something. Using the same one forever is really problematic unless you happen to be using a $1000 chair or a $15 exercise ball.
  • ... that the tingling was his Spider Sense?

  • I thought about it for a while, and realized that I couldnt come up with anything witty or clever to say in this situation. I mean, really. The kid is just a moron.
  • We had to go over to the console to press the pause button. We also didn't spend 10 hours playing a game...

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