Travel Tips to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis

The travel season is upon us and whether you are riding in a car or travelling by plane, remember to stretch those legs to help prevent deep vein thrombosis(DVT)

DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein located deep within the leg. These cots most commonly occur in the vein in the leg but can occur in other parts of the body. If a clot breaks loose and travels through the blood stream, it can lodge in the lungs. This blockage in the lung is called a pulmonary embolism and can make it difficult to breath and can potentially be fatal.

Come people are at greater risk than others to develop DVT. Risk factors include varicose veins,pregnancy and recent  childbirth, obesity, birth control use, tobacco use and heart disease. People that are over 40 years old, those who have had recent surgery or those who are immobilized though inactivity or wearing a cast are also at greater risk to develop a DVT.

People with DVT in the leg may have no warning signs or their symptoms may be vague. If any of the following warning signs occur, it is important to seek immediate medical attention:

Swelling or pain in the back of the leg

Pain in the calf or thigh

Warmth or redness of the leg

If you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, and you are planning a long trip, the folowing tips may help prevent a DVT.

Exercise legs every 2 to 3 hours to get the blood flowing back to the heart. Walk up and down the aisle of a plane or train, rotate ankles while sitting, and take regular breaks on road trips.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol and caffeine

Consider wearing compression stocking for very long trip

Enjoy this holiday season with family and friends

Dr. William a Sachs


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