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?
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.
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.
Alcohol makes us dehydrated and dehydration can contribute to DVT so try and stay off the booze and stick to water.
Wearing compression socks can prevent swelling in your legs and decrease the chance of developing a clot.
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