Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins…usually of the legs. They become life threatening if they break loose and travel through the circulatory system to the lungs where they become pulmonary embolus.

In The February issue of Chest Journal, The American College of Chest Physicians warn that it is not the class you sit in when you fly as denoted by the term “Economy Class Syndrome”, but the seat. The issue is how much you can move around. If you are next to the window you will probably sit for a longer period of time because you do not want to inconvenience anyone when you want to get up.

    There are certain people who have more than a normal risk for getting a DVT:
  • Those who have had a clot before
  • Those who have an abnormality of their coagulation system
  • Those with a disability that affects mobility
  • Those who are obese
  • Those who have active cancerThose who are elderly
  • Those who are pregnant
  • Those who take oral contraceptives (estrogen)Those who underwent surgery or were in an accident
    Aside from not sitting next to the window, those with a higher than normal risk of DVT (and especially when traveling for more than 6 hours) should:
  • Wear compression stockings
  • Get up at least once an hour to exercise the calf muscle
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water and avoid alcoholic beverages

Some have recommended taking aspirin, but I would recommend those at high risk of DVT should visit with a physician before they travel for extended periods of time.All this also applies to long haul travel in cars, buses or trains.

Thanks and Happy, Safe Travels,

Vanda