Preventing DVT during air travel

airplane-preventing dvt in air passangersDVT and pulmonary embolism together are known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a blood clot deep within the vein. Usually, the clot forms in the legs and is a direct result of the lack of movement and blood circulation. According to the NHS over seventy thousand people suffer from DVT in the UK every year and over 25,000 will die as a consequence. So, how can you prevent DVT? The first step is to be active throughout the day and move about. Yet, what happens when you are traveling and cannot move about freely? How do you prevent DVT when you are an air passenger?

Preventing DVT in Air Passengers
There are certain individuals which need to take extreme caution when flying. These are those individuals which have a history of circulation problems, a DVT history, pregnant women, and those which have undergone recent surgery. If you have had any medical condition you are encouraged to consult your medical staff, doctor, or practitioner prior to traveling.

Before you travel your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner or flight socks in order to ensure that you do not get DVT when travelling by air. I would advise against blood thinner if at all possible and opt for the compression socks as they have been proven to dramatically reduce the risk of DVT in air flight passengers.

You can try to get a better seat if you can afford it. Studies have shown that the most DVT cases are found in passengers which are “cramped” in economy class. However, if you do not have the option of traveling in a seat with a bit more leg room, get up and walk around as much as possible. Where you cannot just exercise in a plane, you can take a bathroom break which requires that you get up and move. You can also move your feet while you are sitting down.

Preventing DVT in Economy Class Passangers

The main ways of preventing DVT is movement. If you find that your legs are restricted due to the passenger in front of you NICELY ask the person to adjust their seat so that you can have a bit more room. Most people are not as bad or self-centered as others would assume they are. In most cases, a person will try to help you as much as they can, especially if you are pregnant or have clear signs of a recent surgery.

If you are in a transition between connecting flights, take the time in the terminal to walk about instead of sitting and waiting on the plane to arrive. Simply pacing a short distance while you wait can help you a great deal in preventing DVT.

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