Whether you fly for work or for pleasure, once a year or twice a month, being prepared makes all the difference in avoiding blood clots. You have the necessary information for your itinerary, for packing efficiently, and for what to do once you get to your destination, but what about for your health while traveling? Healthy legs are important to a successful and fun trip. The St Johns Vein Center team has put together this information for keeping your legs healthy on your next flight.
What are blood clots?
Blood clots, also called Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT, can be a serious risk for flyers, especially those traveling more than four hours. Since you are sitting in a confined space for a long period of time, blood clots can form in the deep veins (veins below the surface not visible through the skin). The longer you sit still and don’t move around, the greater the risk of a blood clot developing. If a part of the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, this could cause a blockage called a Pulmonary Embolism, which is actually life threatening. If you’re travelling on a long flight, there are several ways you can reduce your risk of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
Before you Fly
If you are planning a trip, we invite you to take this Online Personal Vein Health Assessment to see if you may be at risk for venous insufficiency. The assessment covers a variety of factors including your health and wellness, family history, and lifestyle. Upon completion of the assessment, a member of our medical team will reach out to you via email or by phone if you prefer to review your results.
While you’re Flying
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing
- Consider wearing compression stockings
- Store luggage overhead so you have room to stretch and move your legs
- Do anti-DVT exercises
- Walk around for a minute or two whenever you can
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking sleeping pills
After Your Flight
If you are attending a work related or educational event that requires further sitting, continue to follow the tips listed above. Make sure to take stairs instead of elevators and walk to destinations when possible.