Stay Safe: Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis During Holiday Travel

By Ron E Lev MD – Follow me on +

While most of us are busy planning our holiday travels, few think about the potential risk that could be lurking in that long care or plane ride. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that can develop in both men and women of any age. Risks for developing this condition include smoking, inactivity, and (yes, indeed!) long periods of travel. The good news is there are easy steps you can take to minimize your risk for DVT while enjoying your holiday vacation.

What is DVT?

DVT is characterized by the formation of blood clots in the deep veins of the body, usually the in legs. If those blood clots break loose form their original location and travel to the lungs, they can cause a life-threatening event known as a pulmonary embolism. Although many experience no symptoms with DVT, possible signs might include:

  • Warmth or skin color changes around the affected area
  • Swelling, especially around the ankle and foot
  • Pain that resembles leg cramps

DVT occurs when blood moves too slowly through the veins. It is most common in the veins of the legs, because these veins have to work against the forces of gravity to pump blood back up to the heart. During physical activity, these veins get some help from the working calf muscles. However, when the legs are inactive for long periods, such as during travel, the blood cannot flow as efficiently and DVT becomes a greater concern.

Preventing DVT

If you are worried about DVT, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. The first is to get up and walk around at least every two hours during travel. If you are in a car, make a point to stop and enjoy the sights along the way. If you are on a plane, move around the cabin every two hours as the flight allows.

If you are still concerned about your DVT risk, talk to the staff at Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan for more prevention ideas. We may recommend taking baby aspirin for a number of days before your travel and continuing for a few days after your return. Compression stockings, also known as flight socks, can also be worn during your travels to encourage healthy blood flow and reduce DVT risk.

DVT is a serious condition that can become life-threatening if left untreated. The good news is there are many effective ways for lowering your risk for this condition. For more information about DVT or other types of vein disorders, contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan today.

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