Personally...having heard of this, somewhat before, I believe it is whats called or termed: DVT: "Deep Veinous Thrombosis" - a potentially fatal
condition that goes often undetected until too late.
I have a friend, who trained at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, CA. for hot weather training exercises. The conditions at Irwin are
similar to Middle Eastern desert terrain and conditions.
DVT results from a clump of fat (thrumbus) detaching from an occluded blood vessel, then getting lodged in the lungs, where it becomes an "embolus".
Thing is, a vessel does not necessarily have to be obstucted to the point where major problems arise. I believe that the Olympic Skater Tara Lipinski
had the very same problems, and she is certainly not a textbook case of "bad health". Sitting and dehydration--not drinking enough fluids--,
whether in cramped conditions..ie: inside a tank, airplane, etc., for long periods of time can dislodge a clot.
As per this article, the BBC had a couple health columns last year about long airline flights and blood clots:
"Research call after DVT death"
One way to avoid this, is to take an aspirin (natural blood thinner) a day.
Also, Orthostatic hypotension is a common occurrence among tank crews who sit for extended periods, then get out of the vehicle and stretch, their
blood flows back into the extremities, particularly legs that have had the circulation cut off, and as a result, the supply of blood to the brain is
lessened, and they pass right out. It's rarely fatal, though, unless they're standing atop the back deck or on the turret and fall, that being a
cause of an occasional serious injury or fatality.
The Merck Manual has a nice and informative page on dehydration:
Electrolyte depletion will bring on clots in any aged individual, despite health, especially if on their feet or sitting for long periods of time in
very hot, stressful situations.
I do have my suspicions on the experimental anthrax vaccine that was and is given to those going to IRaq and the Middle East, I believe.
I am also wondering if a lipid profile was done on each soldier.
I took the liberty of 'googling' Mark Benjamin....seems he has a nack for writing articles which are used as "propaganda" or "tools" for various
"4,000 U.S. Non-Combat Evacuations in Iraq
"Pentagon Papers Leaker Seeks Leaks on Iraq"
[Edited on 8-10-2003 by Seekerof]