Risk of DVT's When Flying
First you might ask what is a DVT? Its full name is Deep Vein Thrombosis and I first got one when traveling from Bali back to New Zealand two years ago. I remember getting a pain in my leg and limping so I went to the Doctor and was told that I must of pulled a muscle in my leg at the gym. Within a couple of days I had a really bad in my chest and found it hard to breathe, lucky for me my Mum is a nurse and knew straight away that I needed to go to hospital. There they discovered that I had a PE (Pulmonary Embolism) which is caused by an obstruction of a blood vessel in the lungs, usually due to a blood clot, so pretty much my blood clots has moved its way up from leg to my lungs and I now had hundreds of them. I was told that if I didn’t come in that night there was a high chance I wouldn’t of woken up in the morning. This was the most scary thing I had been through in my life and honestly no matter what your age is you need to be careful especially when flying long haul.
DVT’s can be formed when traveling for a long period of time in a cramped position i.e. the economy section of a plane. This is because your blood flow to the legs has been slowed down and this contributes to the formation of clots.
Now when I travel long haul I have to do a few things to make sure I don’t get them again. Even if you haven’t had DVT’s before I high recommend that you follow a couple of my tips as I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone. If you have had them before I would love to know your experience and how you travel now xxx.
Compression Stockings or Socks
Now I know that these aren’t the most attractive thing in the world, but they are super important. I recommend getting a pair that goes right up to the top of your thigh and a benefit of these is that your legs look really slim. The purpose of these stockings/socks is that they steadily squeeze your legs, which helps your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. Pretty much they promote circulation and fluid movement. They are also hidden under your pants so theres no excuse really not to wear them.
Drink lots of fluids
We all know that water is the best liquid for preventing dehydration and that being dehydrated on a flight can contribute to the development of blood clots, so you need to keep drinking water throughout the flight. You’re meant to stay away from alcohol, but to be honest because Im going on holiday I usually have a glass or two of bubbles, but when I do this I make sure I up my water intake. A rule my Doctor said to follow was for every glass of alcohol have 2 glasses of water.
Get up and move
This means no more sleeping pills for me! They recommend getting up and moving around the cabin every hour and then moving your ankles and toes every 30 minutes.
This is for those who have had DVT’s before. Now for me I take Clexane before I go on any long haul flight, which I consider is more than six hours. Apparently if I get pregnant I have to take this everyday too, but thats another story.