Home > Uncategorized > Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Preventing the side effects of long flights

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Preventing the side effects of long flights

September 27, 2012

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Most people are not comfortable with having to deal with long flights. From lack of sleep to uncomfortable sitting positions as just some of the circumstances one can experience during a long flight, passengers find themselves wishing that they can reach their destination in an instant. Aside from having to experience these discomforts of traveling, people should also be wary of acquiring the medical condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

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Deep vein thrombosis is described by Mayo Clinic as the condition in which a blood cot or thrombus forms in one or more veins in the body, which usually occurs in the legs.

How the clot becomes dangerous

The legs have two types of veins: superficial veins and deep veins. Deep veins are located deep within the muscles. The superficial veins channel the blood toward the deep veins.

According to MedicineNet.com, the blood clot in the deep veins is not dangerous in itself. It only becomes perilous when the piece of the clot breaks off, and travels through the bloodstream and into the pulmonary circulation system. The blockage in the lungs results to pulmonary embolism, which may cause difficulty in breathing, chest pain, and even death.

Preventing DVT during long flights

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For people who need to endure long flights, exercising the legs and feet is a good preventive measure to avoid acquiring DVT. Some exercises that passengers can try are:

Ankle circles – lifting one leg slowly, rotating the foot clockwise and counter-clockwise, and doing the same with the other leg.

Heel raises – an exercise where the balls of the feet or the heels are the only ones touching the floor

Toe curls – passengers may curl or press their toes on the floor for a few seconds before releasing them.

Walk and stand – walking once in a while inside the plane or asking permission to stand for a few minutes in the flight attendant’s area are good ways to avoid DVT, as these exercises relax the legs

Satori World Medical is one of the pioneers of medical tourism in the US. The company boasts of an innovative Business and Care Model and a global network of International Centers of Excellence. For more about the company, visit SatoriWorldMedical.com.




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