You must have heard stories of people getting blood clots during long journeys. But are you at risk? What should you do to prevent yourself from getting blood clots?
Here are answers to a few of the pressing questions you may have.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
The blood clots that form deep in the veins are known as deep vein thrombosis. These clots are likely to form in your deep leg vein. It is the vein that runs through your thigh and calf muscles.
This condition is potentially fatal, as the clot has a risk of traveling to your lungs, which can lead you to have a pulmonary embolism.
What are the Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Some people don’t have any symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, while others do. Those symptoms include:
- Swelling of the leg, ankle, or foot; typically on one side only
- Cramping pain in your thigh
- Unexplained and severe pain in your ankle or foot
- A patch of warmer skin
- A patch of skin with bluish or reddish color
One out of every 10 people who have deep vein thrombosis can develop pulmonary embolism. The symptoms of that include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid breathing
- Chest pain
What is the Connection Between Travelling and Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis can occur when you sit for an extended period time without moving your legs. This lack of exercise slows the circulation of blood down, which increases the risk of blood clots.
As the travel time increases, the possibility of you getting deep vein thrombosis increases as well.
How can you Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis While Traveling?
When you are going on a long journey, you need to:
- Exercise your foot and calf muscles after every half an hour
- Stretch your legs, even if you are the driver; get out of the car after every couple of hours and walk around
- Make sure that there is enough space to move your legs around when you are sitting in the plane or car
- Try to avoid dehydration, drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid drinking coffee and alcohol, as they cause dehydration
- Don’t take sleeping pills
- Avoid crossing your legs
- Avoid wearing normal socks as the elastic can hinder the blood flow
- Wear elastic compression stockings
Who is at Risk of Getting Deep Vein Thrombosis?
There is no rule regarding who will get deep vein thrombosis and who won’t; anyone can become victim to this condition. Though, the risk is increased if:
- You have had an operation in the last couple months
- You are pregnant
- You have had a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis previously
- You have a close relative who has had a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
- You are on the hormone replacement therapy or combined oral contraceptive pill
- You are obese
- You are either very short or very tall
- You have cancer
- You have a blood clotting disorder
- You have a plastered leg
- You have had a severe illness recently like a heart attack, heart failure, or pneumonia
Are you at risk of deep vein thrombosis? Visit Keystone Cardiovascular Center before this condition can develop into pulmonary embolism.