Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clots - 8 News NOW

Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clots

Updated: Nov 23, 2013 09:51 AM
© Noel Hendrickson / Digital Vision / Thinkstock © Noel Hendrickson / Digital Vision / Thinkstock

SATURDAY, Nov. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Traveling long distances in cars and planes over the holidays could put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis -- potentially deadly blood clots in the deep veins of the lower legs and thighs, an expert says.

Sitting for long periods of time in cramped spaces can limit circulation in the legs, resulting in the formation of a blood clot. The clot can travel through the blood stream and lodge in the lungs, brain, heart and other areas. This can lead to severe damage to organs and possibly death.

However, it's easy to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

"If you plan to travel overseas or cross country, make sure you get up and walk around at least every two hours, and try not to sleep more than four hours at a time," Dr. Alan Lumsden, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital's heart and vascular center, said in a hospital news release.

"Drink plenty of water or juices, wear loose-fitting clothing, eat light meals and limit alcohol consumption," he added.

Elderly people and those with circulation problems should wear compression stockings that help prevent clots from forming in the deep veins, Lumsden suggested.

If you can't get up and move around every couple of hours, you can do the following exercises while sitting down:

Extend both legs and move both feet back and forth in a circular motion.
Move the knee up to the chest and hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds.
Put both feet on the floor and point them upward. Also, put both feet flat and lift both heels as high as possible.

If you are pregnant or have a history of heart disease, cancer or blood clots, you should always consult with your doctor before going on a long trip, Lumsden advised.

About 2 million Americans develop deep vein thrombosis every year, and nearly 200,000 die. "It's a very serious condition that can simply be avoided by getting up and moving around," Lumsden said.

"Symptoms include pain and tenderness, swelling, redness and increased warmth in one leg," Lumsden said. "In some cases, a physician might suggest that a patient go on blood thinners or simply take an aspirin before and during a long trip to avoid [deep vein thrombosis]."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about deep vein thrombosis.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Why some patients don't get Alzheimer's

    Why some patients don't get Alzheimer's

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:00:20 GMT
     new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's.More>>
     new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's.More>>
  • Brain surgery through the nose

    Brain surgery through the nose

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:00:17 GMT
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
  • New procedure to help Lipedema

    New procedure to help Lipedema

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:55:58 GMT
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.