Planning a getaway?✈️ Know your DVT risks. ⚠️ A Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot in one of the deep veins of your body - usually your leg.
They can be caused by anything that slows the flow of blood through your body, such as injury, surgery, sitting or lying for a long period and long haul traveling.
Those with blood clotting disorders, who are pregnant or take the contraceptive pill or hormone therapy have an increased risk of developing a DVT.
You may experience symptoms such as swelling, pain and tenderness in your leg. It is vital that you seek medical help immediately as part of the clot may break off and get stuck in the lungs blocking the blood flow. This is known as a pulmonary embolism and is a life-threatening condition.
A DVT is usually diagnosed with an ultrasound scan and is treated with medication that prevents your blood from clotting further whilst breaking down the clot. This treatment may be taken for a few months or sometimes longer on the advice of your doctor.
You can reduce your chances of developing a DVT by getting up and gently exercising your feet and legs regularly. Whilst travelling, it is recommended to drink plenty of water and avoid drinking too much coffee or alcohol. Wearing compression stockings during flights of four hours or longer can also significantly reduce your risk. These stockings apply gentle pressure to the ankle to help blood flow but it is vital they are the appropriate size and worn correctly - your pharmacist can usually help with this.
If you have any concerns, or for more advice, please pop by and see me in clinic.