As we near the end of the school year and temperatures start to warm up, everyone is booking their summer trips. Long car or plane rides put you at risk for a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
A DVT occurs when a blockage or blood clot forms in veins deep in the leg or other parts of the body. If the clot breaks free and travels through the bloodstream, it can get stuck in the lung causing a pulmonary embolism, which can make breathing difficult and could even result in death. Some people are more at risk for developing a DVT. Varicose veins, blood clotting disorders, pregnancy or recent childbirth, obesity, tobacco use, and heart disease are all risk factors for a DVT. People over 40 years old, those who’ve recently had surgery and those who are immobile due to inactivity or because they’re wearing a cast are also at a higher risk for the condition.
People with a DVT may have little to no symptoms. Some signs include swelling in the leg, pain in the calf or thigh or warmth and redness of the leg. Contact our office if you have any of these warning signs since you may need to be evaluated immediately.
If you’re at risk for a DVT and have plans for a long trip this season, here are tips to reduce the chance of developing a blood clot:
• Exercise your legs every two to three hours to keep the blood flowing back to your heart. Walk up and down the aisle of the plane or train, rotate ankles while sitting and take regular breaks on car trips. • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol. • Consider wearing compression socks.