Reduce your risk of DVT when travelling

Able2Travel - travel insurance for people with medical conditions - how to reduce the of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) when flyingThe adventures of travelling often involve long-haul flights. Sitting for long periods, combined with dehydration and lack of sleep, can increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

Here are some quick pointers to help you reduce the risk of DVT on your next trip.

Before you go: Able2Travel is here to help you obtain travel insurance, even if you have a health problem or a pre-existing medical condition. Call us today for a sensitive and confidential quote on 01892 839 501, or fill-out the form HERE and an Able2Travel insurance specialist will call you back.

WHAT IS DVT?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the body and is also known as venous thrombosis. These blood clots can lead to pulmonary embolism which may be life threatening. This occurs when blood clots travel from elsewhere in the body and block blood flow to the lungs.

SLEEP AND DVT

Did you know - lack of sleep can cause changes in your blood that increases the risk of DVT? This risk may remain elevated for days or weeks after flying.

What you can do - Get plenty of sleep before your travels. Plan your journey to include overnight stays, if necessary, so you remain well-rested. Avoid taking sleeping pills during your trip as they can increase the amount of time you are immobile.

MOVEMENT AND EXERCISE

Did you know - sitting for long periods of time increases your risk of DVT. When sitting in cramped seating on a jet airliner it is more challenging to move normally but there are some easy things you can do to keep your circulation moving.

What you can do: Make sure you have as much space as possible in front of you for your legs to move. When seated, if you feel uncomfortable pressure on the back of your legs, try placing something under your feet to elevate your legs. Change your position regularly.

When seated, try pointing and lifting your toes to exercise your lower leg muscles. Lifting each leg slightly is one way to exercise your upper thigh muscles on top of your legs. Pressing your feet to the floor is one way to exercise other muscles in your legs and lower body.

Don't neglect your arms and upper body. If you are able, you can try raising your arms for a good stretch, shake them out, roll your shoulders then press your hands together in front of you as a way to exercise muscles in your arms and chest.

BEST OF ALL, if you are able to do so safely, get out of your seat regularly and walk around. Aim to do this at least once an hour. Perhaps find a place to safely stand and rock between your heels and toes to help pump blood back up from your lower legs.

CLOTHING

Avoid wearing restrictive clothing around your waist and legs.

Compression Stockings / Flight Socks: Some people choose to wear elastic flight stockings to help reduce blood pooling and also to manage swelling in legs and ankles. Studies suggest that wearing them may reduce the risk of DVT. If you do choose to wear compression stockings it is important they are the right type and fit, you may want to seek your doctor's advice.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE DVT

If you experience symptoms of DVT, such as pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually your calf), a heavy ache in the affected area, redness of your skin in the area of swelling or discomfort, seek medical attention immediately.

These suggestions may generally be helpful to reduce the risk of DVT and also helpful for those travelling with a medical condition, but we always recommend seeking professional medical advice and following your doctor's instructions.

ARRANGE TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE YOUR TRIP

Get a quote for travel insurance
Telephone 01892 839 501

Able2Travel is here to help you obtain travel insurance, even if you have a health problem or a pre-existing medical condition.
Call us today for a sensitive and confidential quote on 01892 839 501, or click the Get a Quote button and an Able2Travel insurance specialist will call you back.

Able2Travel is listed as a travel insurance provider by the British Heart Foundation. The British Heart Foundation provides further advice about travelling and DVT here.

If you have any health concerns, always consult your doctor before travelling.

Author: Michèle