Deep vein thrombosis is fairly well known due to the fear of having to sit through a long flight. It’s not just flying however that’s the problem, it could be any long periods of sitting that could put you at risk for developing a blood clot. Is this something we should all be worried about? Here are some quick facts to let you know who is at risk and how to prevent blood clots.
What Is A Blood Clot?
It’s normal for blood to clot when you are injured. This is how you avoid bleeding to death. It’s a benefit to healthy individuals who are hurt. There are many conditions however that can trigger that same clotting process where there is no damage and the formation of a clot begins to block the flow of blood.
There are two types of clots to be worried about; one is DVT and the other is a pulmonary embolism. DVT usually causes you to have a pulmonary embolism when the clot then travels to the lungs. If blockage occurs blood begins to build up. Clots begin to form that starts off a chain reaction and the clots begin to grow. This is what DVT looks like. If a piece of that clot breaks off and travels to the lung, your body will not be able to get oxygen. That’s when you suffer from a pulmonary embolism.
Who Is At Risk?
These conditions can increase your risk of getting a clot:
- Long periods of sitting can cause your blood flow to slow
- Vein injury due to surgery or injury
- Increased estrogen due to birth control
- Chronic illness such as cancer or heart disease
- Swelling and redness
- Leg pain
- Warmth to the affected area
Preventing Blood Clots
If you do find yourself sitting for long periods of time get up and move around. If you have been confined due to surgery get moving as quickly as possible. Talk to your doctor about preventative measures.
Quit smoking, lose weight and exercise regularly.