Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Economy Class Syndrome

If you're a long-distance traveler on a flight lasting at least six hours, what can you do to prevent deep vein thrombosis, or DVT (the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep leg veins)?

For all travelers:

  • avoid constrictive clothing around the lower extremities and waist


  • maintain hydration


  • stretch your calf muscles frequently


  • For travelers at-risk (pregnant women, people who recently have had surgery), either one of the following helps:

  • use a properly fitted, below-knee compression stocking providing 15 to 30 mm Hg of pressure at the ankle


  • a dose of anticoagulant (LMWH or fondaparinux) before departure

    For both groups of travelers, aspirin is not recommended for prevention.

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