Friday, July 4, 2014

Tip of the Day: Taking Precautions on How to Counter Deep-Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Although DVT can be a health risk for airline passengers who are immobile on trips lasting three hours or longer, very few people are affected by it. 

Travelers who are at risk are those over 40, the elderly who have a history of DVT, those who have a sedentary lifestyle, who are obese, those who have had recent surgery, childbirth, cancer or who have cancer and are undergoing cancer treatment. 

If you are aware of the fact that you suffer from DVT, see your medical provider at least two weeks before a long-haul flight so that you can be prepared.
 
The below link may alert to you to the fact that you suffer from DVT:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/basics/definition/con-20031922

DVT typically involves clotting of the blood in any of the deep veins, usually in the calf. If a clot develops, it usually makes its presence known by an intense pain in the affected calf. If this occurs when your flight is aloft, summon a flight attendant.

DVT can be fatal if the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, where it can affect the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. 

Breathlessness and chest pain can occur hours or days after the clot’s formation in the calf. 

A 2001 clinical study revealed that wearing compression socks while traveling reduces occurrences of DVT; however, if you think you may be at risk, consult your medical provider FIRST.

Below are a number of ways you can counter DVT:

1.  Do not take sleeping pills on long flights. Doing so further immobilizes you;

2.  Walk at least a half-mile before and after deplaning. If you cannot walk this distance, see your physician promptly.

3. Bend and flex your feet, ankles, and legs while in your seat;

4.  Press the balls of your feet against the foot rest periodically;

5.  Walk up and down the aisle hourly when the "fasten seat-belt" sign is not illuminated;

6. Drink plenty of water during the duration of your flight; and

7. Don't consume alcoholic beverages while aboard a long flight and don't overeat.