Deep Vein Thrombosis
Pre-travel Personal Planning
Travelers with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot forming in a vein, should discuss this risk with their healthcare provider and take action to decrease the risk. Travelers who have any of the following conditions have a greater risk of getting DVT:
- Estrogen use
- Pregnancy or postpartum
- Thrombophilia or gene mutations
- Older age
- Family history of venous thromboembolism or previous DVT
- Active cancer
- Recent surgery, hospitalization, or trauma
- Serious medical illnesses like heart failure or inflammatory bowel disease
- Flights taking longer than 6 hours can increase your risk of DVT
The following actions can help decrease the risk of DVT:
- Avoid tight clothing during travel.
- Walk through the aisles during flight.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid excess alcohol.
- Exercise the calf muscles during the flight: circle the feet clockwise and counterclockwise; lift toes and heels.
- Wear support stockings.