Chic way of saving lives

May 18, 2001

A Northumbria University student has come up with an idea that could stop passengers suffering blood clots during long-haul flights.

Hilary Turnock, a final-year fashion marketing student, has designed a pair of socks fitted with a "moving balloon" that would maintain circulation during a flight and so prevent deep-vein thrombosis.

Ms Turnock, 44, worked as an intensive care nurse for 25 years before starting her degree. She said: "A simple mechanism that replicates normal circulation by inflating and deflating in a wave-like motion could be used inside a pair of socks to ensure blood was circulated throughout the flight."

Ms Turnock came up with the idea as part of her entry to the Royal Society for arts student design awards.

She designed an air travel outfit that could be given to airlines to provide passengers with maximum safety and comfort.

It consists of a wrap incorporating a massage pad to release aromatherapy oils at the touch of a button. A cowl made of soundproof material could also be incorporated to block out noise and disturbance.

The items can all be vacuum packed and could be given out to passengers to maximise comfort on flights.

Ms Turnock created the garments as part of her research for her final collection of garments for mature women. Her research revealed that more older people are travelling by air and to more distant destinations.

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