Saturday, December 28, 2013

Global Impact: Deep Vein Thrombosis Can Be a Health Risk During Prolonged Sitting

Many travelers may be unprepared for and may never have heard of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a blood clot that could become deadly. 

DVT can result from prolonged sitting in any "long-haul" automobile or a commercial airliner trip, passengers invariably sit motionless for hours putting them at an increased risk.

Pain and swelling in a leg can be caused by DVT.

Worse, DVT can happen to anyone, young or old and healthy or not.

COMMENT: DVT occurs to 2 million each year in the US.

Invariably, a clot can break off and travel to the lung and become a pulmonary embolism that can be fatal.

Every year, DVT kills more than 100,000 Americans, more than breast cancer and AIDS combined. 

If driving, stop every couple of hours to stretch your legs and keep your blood flowing.

If traveling by commercial airliner, get up, walk around briefly and do isometrics in your seat. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol if you're able to do so.

If you smoke, are overweight, take daily birth control tablets and have a history of blood clots, even more reason to consider walking about every couple of hours.

A big symptom of DVT is a very swollen leg. Call for an ambulance immediately.

Finally, those travelers who are at risk of a DVT should consult with a physician to determine whether specially fitted compression socks or an aspirin might well protect them from DVT.