12) How can I lessen the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when muscles are constricted and the return of blood from the legs to the heart is inhibited. This can lead to fluid collecting in the feet and to subsequent muscular aches and pains, a feeling of excess fatigue or very rarely, more serious complications even after your flight has ended.
What is my risk?
Some people are more likely to develop DVT than others. Here are some examples from current medical knowledge:
Those at minor risk:
- Aged over 40
- Very tall, very short or obese
- Previous or current leg swelling from any cause
- Recent minor leg injury or minor body surgery
- Extensive varicose veins
Those at moderate risk:
- Recent heart disease
- Pregnant or on any hormone medication, particularly the contraceptive pill and HRT
- Recent major leg injury or leg surgery
- Family history of DVT
Those at substantial risk:
- Previous or current DVT
- Known clotting tendency
- Recent major surgery or stroke
- Current malignant disease or chemotherapy paralysed lower limb(s)
If you're concerned about your risk of suffering from DVT we strongly recommend you seek medical advice before booking.
These steps below may help to reduce your risk:
- Drink plenty of water during the flight and avoid alcohol and caffeine during the flight (and before)
- Take only short periods of sleep
- Do not take sleeping pills
- Avoid leg discomfort when seated by not crossing your legs
- Walk around the cabin whenever you can
- Carry out the simple in-flight exercises shown below and in our in-flight information
- Wear loose fitting comfortable clothes and shoes when travelling
Our main advice is to avoid being totally static throughout your flight this includes night flights.
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