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Tip of the Week: Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Tag Archives: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Dvt-treatments - causesMarch was DVT month, but lots of people are gearing up for travel in these coming months.

Understand the risk factors and preventive measures you can take to prevent DVT while on long flights or sitting in the same place for a long time.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood flows too slowly through the veins. The blood forms a clot that blocks up deep veins, usually in the legs. DVT doesn’t generally have any immediate symptoms, making it difficult to spot. However, typical signs include a swollen or painful calf or thigh, paleness and increased heat around the affected area.

If left untreated, people with DVT are at risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, when part of the blood clot breaks away and travels to the lung, which can be fatal.

DVT (blood clots) high-risk factors:

  • history of DVT or pulmonary embolism
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • inherited tendency to clot (thrombophilia)
  • recent surgery (pelvic region or legs)
  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • hormone replacement therapy

If you think you have a risk of developing DVT, see your doctor before you travel.

Tips to avoid DVT blood clots during long travel flights (greater than 4 hrs):

  • Stay hydrated (drink water, not alcohol or coffee, which dehydrate)
  • Move (get up and walk, or at least flex your feet up and down periodically throughout the flight)
  • Wear properly fitted compression stockings. These should be at least 14 mm Hg or greater. Below knee or thigh high are fine.
  • Consider taking low dose aspirin (81 mg/day) if medically appropriate
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