Blood Clots: Your Need-to-Know Guide for Travel

Without trying to scaremonger, the statistics on blood clots are quite frankly terrifying. Recent studies have suggested that 274 people die every day from them – and that’s just in the United States.

For those that travel, this raises some concerns. After all, blood clots are much more common when you step on a plane, and you need to approach travel extremely cautiously if you think you might be more at risk from them.

Well, that’s partly why today’s article has been put together. Let’s now take a look at blood clots in more detail and show what you should be looking out for the next time you plan a trip abroad.

Who is at risk from blood clots?

As we’ve already said, travel is something that immediately increases your chances of succumbing to a blood clot. This is because travel tends to result in you sitting in a small space, for a long period of time. As a result, the longer your trip, the more at risk you become.

As well as the travel-factor, some groups are more at risk from this condition though. For example, if you happen to be over 40-years-old, you could be slightly more at risk from blood clots. Then, there are those people who have had recent surgery or even pregnant. This is one of the reasons it is crucial for you to take out insurance when travelling with medical conditions, as it is one thing to be at risk from blood clots at home, but to be travelling with this risk requires extra precautionary measures.

What are the symptoms?

There are generally two types of blood clots, coming in the form of Deep Vein Thrombosis and a Pulmonary Embolism.

Both have slightly different symptoms. For example, in relation to DVT, you should look out for swelling in your arms or legs, warm or red skin and even pain that just doesn’t seem to have been caused through a viable reason.

For a pulmonary embolism, things change somewhat. These can be a little more frightening, as PE’s are more serious. General symptoms include difficulties when you breathe, irregular heartbeats and in some cases, coughing up blood.

If you notice any of the above, it’s time to get medical help immediately. This might come during your flight, or in the aftermath.

How can you protect yourself when traveling?

As we have already spoken about, there are a lot of risk factors surrounding blood clots when you travel. Simply being aware of these is one of the best ways that you can protect yourself.

However, in terms of actionable tips when you are up on the plane, moving around frequently is one that can help your plight. Sitting in the same position for hours upon end is asking for trouble – at least try and stroll up and down the aisle several times to get your blood flowing. If that’s not possible for whatever reason, sometimes it’s about extending your legs and flexing your ankles.

For those particularly considered, compression stockings might be an option as well as these have been found to lower the chances of blood clots developing.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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