DVT – The signs and symptoms

signs symptoms dvt

DVT can cause major problems especially for people who travel long distances but what are the signs and symptoms and how can we prevent it.

No matter what the mode of transportation, sitting still for long periods of time may put some people at an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is essentially the forming of a blood clot in the leg muscles. The formation of this clot itself isn’t necessarily dangerous but if it were to break off and make it’s way to a vital organ such as the lungs, it could prove fatal.

Most air travel victims of DVT don’t succumb to it on the flight of even right after landing. Fatalities more commonly occur days or even weeks later usually as the result of a pulmonary embolism. Research suggests that you have a one in 10 chance of developing a clot due to DVT on a long-haul flight if you sit still for too long a period.

The signs and symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms of DVT include:

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs, usually around the calf area
  • An area of skin that feels warmer than the rest of your leg
  • Skin colour becoming pale or reddish in the affected area

So how can we prevent DVT?

Move about

This is one of the most effective preventions of DVT. Make sure you stand up and walk around at least every couple of hours, even if it means disturbing your neighbour. When in your seat you can also help prevent clotting by moving your legs and feet on a regular basis to keep the blood moving.

Stay Hydrated

DVT can occur from sitting still anywhere but an aircraft environment is typically a lot drier than elsewhere and dehydration can contribute to blood clotting. So drink plenty of water.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol makes us dehydrated and dehydration can contribute to DVT so try and stay off the booze and stick to water.

Compression Socks

Wearing compression socks can prevent swelling in your legs and decrease the chance of developing a clot.

As always, if you have any questions you can email us directly at hello@askthepilots.com or you can now also chat to our pilot chatbots, Charlie and Chuck. Just click the Facebook Messenger link below.


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