The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or DVT clot is higher the more often you fly. Long haul flights for overseas travel sounds rather exciting but DVT is happening more often whilst everyone is enjoying more frequent business trips and holidays.

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in the deeper system of veins in the body, more commonly the legs. However, it’s when clots form in organs like the lungs that serious health issues are a threat.

There are different risk factors for DVT and these include having varicose veins, dehydration, lack of movement and a previous or recent illness.

The risk of getting a DVT is quite low, when you consider the number of people who undertake long-distance flights regularly. However, economy seating is getting smaller and it’s hard to move around the plane if it’s crowded.

Plus, if you already have varicose veins, then the risk of developing a DVT is much greater. Have those veins checked before you fly if you are affected.

Compression stockings are an effective way of reducing the risk of DVTs but they must be correctly fitted by a professional. Just buying a pair “off the shelf” is rather risky because they are usually packed by shoe size. Shoe size and calf circumference are often not in perfect ratio.

Avoid a sleeping pill, because your immobility will increase in an already cramped position. Adequate hydration is a simple solution and must be maintained right through the flight. That applies to all flights five hours or more.

Questions:

  • Are DVT’s more common now that in years gone by?
  • What causes them?
  • Can I buy off-the-shelf compression socks or stockings?
  • What role does having a varicose vein play?
  • Do medical conditions increase my risk?
  • Does aspirin work?

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