World Thrombosis Day: Swansea researchers’ balloon throwing, clot busting, Guinness record-breaking attempt

Researchers from Swansea University will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “Most hits of a person with water balloons in three minutes by a team” in aid of Thrombosis UK on Thursday, October 13, to mark World Thrombosis Day.

Event: Clot busters! “Most hits of a person with water balloons in three minutes by a team ”Guinness World Record attempt. To mark World Thrombosis Day, a campaign led by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH).  All monies raised will be donated to Thrombosis UK.

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016

Time: Starting from 13.30pm, there will be water balloon throwing open to the public with a small donation to Thrombosis UK, via the charity collection buckets available. The Guinness World Record attempt will take place at 15:00pm, after a few practice runs.

Venue: Outside Engineering Central, Swansea University Bay Campus.

If you think you can throw a water balloon 10 metres and are interested in being part of the Guinness World Record attempt, please contact Dr Nafiseh Badiei, Swansea University Medical School, by emailing: 

Full event information:  One in four people worldwide die of conditions caused by thrombosis. It is a leading cause of global death and disability.

Thrombosis is the formation of potentially deadly blood clots in the artery (arterial thrombosis) or vein (venous thrombosis). Once formed, a clot can slow or block normal blood flow, and even break loose and travel to an organ. A clot that travels to the circulation is called an embolism.

Thrombosis is often preventable and an underlying pathology of heart attacks, thromboembolic strokes, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) – the top three cardiovascular killers.

World Thrombosis DayThe Swansea University led Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Healthcare Impact Partnership for new Blood Clotting Diagnostics and Management comprises professors, lecturers, postdoctoral researchers, and students from the University’s College of Engineering and Medical School, as well as industrial and overseas partners.

The Partnership will hold an awareness and fundraising event at the University’s Bay Campus on Thursday, October 13, where they will attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the “Most hits of a person with water balloons in three minutes by a team”.

Red water balloons, symbolising red blood cells, will be thrown at a target to demonstrate how we can all help to bust dangerous clots.

Dr David James, Research Officer in the College of Engineering, has volunteered to be the water balloons’ human target for the Guinness World Record attempt, and members of the public will also be able to throw water balloons at a large fixed target with a World Thrombosis Day logo on it for the practice attempts, with a small donation to Thrombosis UK.

Several Swansea female engineers, researchers and members of the EPSRC Healthcare Impact Partnership, who have helped to organise this event, believe the risk of thrombosis for women is something that is often overlooked. The team feel that it is important to use this event to highlight and raise awareness of this particular health risk.

One of the event’s organisers, Dr Bethan Thomas, Research Assistant with the EPSRC Healthcare Impact Partnerships in the University’s Medical School said: “My work involves the research and engineering of new diagnostic blood assays by measuring the mechanical properties of healthy and unhealthy clots.

“As part of our World Thrombosis Day fundraising event, my colleagues and I really wanted to pay particular attention and raise awareness of the risk of thrombosis in women, as I know many people believe thrombosis or heart disease only poses a health risk for men.

“By talking about thrombosis, including what increases your chances of experiencing an episode and what are the common symptoms, we can help to prevent and reduce everyone’s risk of cardiovascular disease.” 

How to support this event: You can donate on the day at the event via one of the many charity collection buckets available, or you can donate via the event’s JustGiving page here.