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Thursday 19 September 2019

Things to keep in mind to help fight off DVT during flights

■ Frequent walking about during the flight.

■ Calf muscle stretching.

■ Sitting in an aisle seat if possible (as you are more likely to get up and move around during the flight).

■ Wearing below-the-knee compression stockings that are ' graduated', meaning they apply greater pressure lower down the leg. They are designed to put pressure on the lower legs, feet and ankles to increase bloodflow, thereby making it harder for a clot to form.

■ The guidelines do not recommend compression stockings for long-distance travellers who are not at increased risk of DVT.

■ The guidelines advise against using blood-thinning aspirin or anticoagulant therapy to prevent DVT or pulmonary embolism for most people. They suggest that anti-clotting medications should be considered on an individual basis only for those at particularly high risk of DVT, as in some cases the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Anyone can develop DVT but there are certain known risks:

■ increasing age

■ pregnancy

■ previous venous thromboembolism

■ family history of thrombosis

■ medical conditions such as cancer and heart failure

■ inactivity (for example after an operation or on a long-haul flight)

■ being overweight or obese.

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