Tuesday 27 September 2016

Tips to reduce risk of DVT on long journeys

Published 28/06/2016 | 02:30

If you think you are at risk of deep vein thrombosis then you should see your doctor before travel.
If you think you are at risk of deep vein thrombosis then you should see your doctor before travel.

Prepare in advance - that's the advice if you are about to go on a plane and may be at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg.

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Don't leave it until the last minute in case you need to buy medication, compression stockings or anything else for your flight.

Wearing compression stockings during flights of four hours or more can significantly reduce your risk of DVT, as well as leg swelling (oedema).

The below-knee stockings apply gentle pressure to the ankle to help blood flow. They come in a variety of sizes and there are also different levels of compression. Class 1 stockings (exerting a pressure of 14-17 mmHg at the ankle) are generally sufficient.

It's vital that compression stockings are measured and worn correctly.

Ill-fitting stockings could further increase the risk of DVT.

Other tips to reduce your risk of DVT during a long-distance flight, train or car journey include:

Wear loose, comfortable clothes

Do anti-DVT exercises

Walk around whenever you can

Drink plenty of water

Don't drink alcohol or take sleeping pills.

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