Travel Tips to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: March 17, 2016

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition which occurs when a blot clot forms deep in the legs. This blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs or brain, which can result in death. Prevention of DVT is of utmost importance to those that fall in the risk categories.

Risk factors of DVT:

  • Recent surgery in areas where blood clots form such as the leg, pelvis or knee
  • Varicose veins
  • Recent injury to the veins in legs or pelvis
  • Chronic illness such as cancer, heart disease or lung disease
  • Increased estrogen such as pregnancy or hormone replacement
  • Family history of DVT

It has been found that traveling for more than four hours in a sitting position can greatly increase the risk of forming a blood clot deep in the leg. While it can be difficult to move around in some situations, making modifications to your travel is needed for those who can potentially form DVT.

During prolonged flights where you are sitting in one position for an extended period of time, try to get up every hour to stretch. Go to the restroom, walk up the aisle, or just stand up to get something in the overhead bin. Of course, only do this if the pilot has given the “okay” to unbuckle your seat belts. Flex and point your foot to stimulate the calf muscles. The calf muscles help your veins in pumping blood back to your heart. So, the more you can work those muscles, the better. Try to get an aisle seat. This seat tends to have more room for you to stretch. Also, you won’t bother your flying companions by continually getting up and down from your seat.

If you are traveling by car, try to stop once every couple of hours to get out and stretch your legs and body. Walk into a gas station or rest stop to get the blood moving in your veins. If you are not driving, pull one leg up at a time to your chest during the car ride. This stimulates blood flow.

Regardless of how you decide to travel, it is important that you are aware of DVT. If you think that you are at risk and would like to have an assessment, please contact us here at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates at 813-975-2800 or request an appointment online.

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 17/03/2016

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