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Thursday, 21 June 2012

How to Prevent Blood Clots While Flying

This is the time of year when alot of people are travelling.  If your summer vacation involves a long plane ride, you need to take measures to reduce your risk of a blood clot.  These clots that can develop in the veins of your lower legs, can possibly dislodge and travel to your lungs or brain. 
Studies have shown that 1-4500 airplane passengers will develop a clot.  This stat is nothing to be alarmed about, but some people are at more risk than others.

Who is at Risk?

As I said above, the overall risk of developing a clot on a plane is 1 in 4500.  However, women who are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement and are severely overweight have a 30 fold increased risk.  Women who are pregnant are also at an increased risk of developing a clot. 

People who fly often are also at an increased risk, with approximately a threefold increase

Generally, people who are obese and/or smoke are also at an increased risk of developing these clots.
If you are at increased risk, you should consult a professional about using compression stockings.  These stockings promote blood flow and prevent the pooling of blood in your legs that can lead to a clot.

However, for an average healthy person, simply moving around during the flight and pointing your toes a few times an hour will go a long way to help prevent a clot.

Even those not at increased risk of a clot can benefit from wearing compression stockings.  Improving blood flow to your lower legs will prevent swelling and that tired feeling in your lower legs when you get off the plane, leaving you ready to start enjoying your trip right away.

If you have any questions about compression stockings, or anything else, please contact Back Home Chiropractic at 747-0844

Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC

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