Athletes Are At Risk For Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Too During Long Distance Travel
Many active athletes are lulled into the false belief that because they are so well conditioned they are not at risk of developing a blood clot in the deeper veins (also known as deep vein thrombosis) as the result of a long distance trip by plane.
The fact is that anybody thinking along those lines would be seriously mistaken. Whether you are an Olympic medalist, champion athlete, sports enthusiast or just an average Joe, anybody flying long distance can be at risk for DVT.
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According to information published by the Center for Disease Control, the exact number of people in the United States affected in some way by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) is estimated at 300,000 to 600,000 cases per year and approx. 60,000 to 100,000 of those affected die as a result of it.
Geno J. Merli, MD, chief medical officer at Jefferson University Hospitals, in Philadelphia, PA, has pointed out that most patients and many physicians are not aware of the fact that DVT has a higher death rate annually than the sum of all the deaths from motor vehicle accidents, aids and breast cancer.
DVT or PE can Happen to Anybody
Anyone could be at risk for DVT. The more risk factors you have, the bigger your chances are of developing deep vein thrombosis.
You can help Prevent the Occurrence of DVT by Knowing the Risk Factors:
- Recent injury or major surgery
- Hospitalization for an illness
- Advanced age (older than 40)
- Previous clotting disorder or DVT
- Pregnancy and 1-2 months after delivery
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Family history of DVT
- Heart disease or stroke
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Birth control pills
- Prolonged bed rest
- Prolonged sitting and immobility during travel (longer than 6 to 8 hours)
Highly trained and conditioned athletes should also be vigilant because often their resting heart rate can be significantly lower than the average person’s heart rate, which means blood flows slower through the body. Slower blood flow in combination with other factors like prolonged immobility during flights, train, and bus or car trips could spell trouble and create the perfect storm conditions for a DVT.
Some Important Pointers on How To Significantly Reduce the Threat of Blood Clots (DVT) During Travel:
- Get up from your seat frequently and walk up and down the aisle if possible
- If you cannot get up, rock your feet back and forth to stimulate blood circulation
- Stay hydrated (drink 8 ounces of water within every two hour period)
- Consider wearing travel or flight socks with graduated compression on all long distance flights or any other type of compression hosiery that is most suitable in your case
- If you have any risk factors or medical conditions make an appointment with your physician to get his recommendations before you travel
For additional tips and information please follow the links to the articles below …
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