Deep Vein Thrombosis and Flying

Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as DVT, refers to the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein. Frequent flyers often refer to DVT as ‘Economy Class Syndrome’ as it’s a condition that can be bought on as a result of sitting in uncomfortable economy class seats on long haul flights.

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis

While the risk of DVT is a reality for fit and healthy passengers, the risk is more prominent in travellers that smoke and obese passengers. If you’re skeptical about your health then consult a doctor before you embark on long haul travel. Although half of DVT patients show no signs of the illness, its best you’re aware of the symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis before it becomes a huge problem. Be on the lookout for pain, swelling and redness in the legs and dilation of the surface veins.

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Flying

Long Haul Flights increase the risk of DVT

In some DVT patients the symptoms only appear after a long haul flight. You could be a Deep Vein Thrombosis risk for up to 2 weeks after your flight.

Read the Deep Vein Thrombosis Wiki entry for more information.

Prevention is always the Best Cure

I know I always say it but prevention is the best cure when it comes to Deep Vein Thrombosis and flying. Some things you can do to prevent the onset of DVT when you’re in the air include:

  • In Flight Exercises
  • Invest in some socks – It is has been medically proven that compression socks improve circulation and significantly reduce the risks of DVT when you’re up in the air. Ask your GP or pharmacist about these DVT deterrents before you fly
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes when you fly
  • Take a walk around the cabin every hour
  • Staying hydrated (with water) can reduce the risk of blood clots which result in DVT

Getting Treated

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a life threatening condition and you will need to seek professional assistance when you land. See your doctor immediately following a trip if you have any symptoms of economy class syndrome.

If any of our readers have experienced Deep Vein Thrombosis when flying then please add your comments below – your advice could save a life.

Image: Makipon

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