According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 600,000 Americans have deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, which is caused by blood clots that form in a person’s lower leg or thigh and break off to join the blood stream. These blood clots can travel to the lung or other parts of the vascular system and create serious, even fatal, conditions.
What increases the risk of blood clots?
According to the National Institute of Health, the risk of blood clots forming deep in a person’s vein is increased by:
- becoming pregnant
- being overweight
- being older than 60 years of age
- anyone with a history of DVT
You can read more about the signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis as well.
How do travelers prevent blood clots?
In addition to getting regular medical checkups and taking care of your health, travelers are reminded that during long trips, your risk of developing DVT is small but can be prevented by:
- Getting up and moving around. If traveling for long periods by car, stop and move around at least every hour.
- Stretch, flex, and move your legs to encourage blood flow into and out of your calves.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing when you travel.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.
If you are at increased risk for DVT, compression stockings while traveling can help as well.