Travel Health Tips for Deep Vein Thrombosis [infographic]
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Quick Facts About DVT
Deep Vein Thrombosis (or DVT) is a condition where a clot, or clots, form in one or more of the deep veins, usually in the legs.
- The risk for blood clots increase by 10% for every hour spent sitting.
- Blood clots can cause partial or complete blockage of venous circulation, or break free and cause life threatening condition.
- Extended immobility during travel increases DVT risk by 2-4x.
- Approximately half of all cases occur without any noticeable symptoms.
Risk Factors for DVT
- Risk increases with age ( > 40 years old)
- Overweight (BMI > 30)
- Estrogen (birth control pills)
- Thrombophilia (an abnormally increased tendency to create clots)
- Active cancer
- Serious medical illness
- History of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
- Recent surgery, hospitalization or trauma
- Limited mobility
- Central venous catheterization
- Swelling in the affected leg, ankle and foot
- Pain in calf that spreads to the ankle and foot
- Warmth over the affected area
- Redness or discoloration of the skin
Prevention of DVT
- People who are predisposed to, or have previously suffered DVT should wear compression socks and consult their primary care providers regarding possible benefits from medication.
- Avoid long periods of immobility. Stand up and walk around, exercise feet and calf.
- Stay well hydrated, avoid alcohol.
Treatment of DVT
- Anticoagulations (aka blood thinners) to prevent clotting
- Filters (aka umbrella) prevent clots that break loose from going to the lungs
- Compression socks and stockings prevent swelling reduce formation of blood clots
Recommendation if DVT is suspected while traveling: MEDICAL ATTENTION IS NEEDED
Clots that break free will travel upstream and may cause a pulmonary embolism, which could be life-threatening and require immediate treatment. In remote locations, an emergency medical evacuation may be needed.