How To Reduce Your Risk of DVT During Air Travel

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that develops in the deep veins of the legs. If it travels to the heart and lungs (pulmonary embolism), it can be fatal.  Blood clots, (DVTs) are a serious condition and occur in 1% of airline passengers in long haul flights greater than 8 hours.  On last night’s episode of Bravo’s TV Series, The Atlanta Housewives, actress, housewife and Dancing with the Star’s, Nene Leakes described her recent DVT and pulmonary embolism from a plane flight. She now ‘wears compression socks’ which is an important component to reduce complications of vein conditions.

The key to preventing blood clots in the veins (DVT) is knowing the risks and taking steps to minimize the danger. Here are a few important practices you can follow to help prevent a potentially dangerous blood clot and increase your comfort.

#1) Bend Your Feet While Seated


Compression stockings should be worn during travel to reduce the risk of blood clots. Blood clots in the leg veins occur in 1% of airline passengers on flights longer than 8 hours.

Increase blood flow through your legs by bending your feet up and down when you’re seated, or by getting up and moving around every hour or so.

#2) Avoid dehydration

Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine during airline flights and drink plenty of water.  Choose water over caffeinated or alcoholic beverages

#3) Avoid crossing your legs

#4) During the flight, walk around the cabin whenever you can

#5) Consult your doctor before flying if you are pregnant or have recently given birth; use birth control or other hormone therapies; or have had a stroke or recent surgery

#6) Wear graduated compression stockings

Wear graduated compression stockings when you travel. Medical grade compression stockings can help prevent veins from stretching when your legs are bent for long periods of time and prevent pooling of blood within the veins.  Compression stockings should be worn during long periods of travel by airplane or by car or train.  Medical compression stockings for travel can be found at:


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