View Full Version : DVT--beware on long haul flights!

10-12-2009, 10:39 AM
I'm a frequesnt flyer and a fairly frequent passenger on long flights. So I'm pretty blase about things like deep vein thrombosis. Sure, when I think about it I'd rotate my feet and shrug my shoulders a bit, but that's about the extent that I went to.

Well, I paid the price for it. I got back about two weeks ago from a trip from China to Seattle, and after a week or so, my left calf started bothering me. Not what you call real pain, just some discomfort and a pressure sensation that nagged. After a few days of it, I called my health care provider, who told me to get in *right away* because if it were a blood clot, it could be life threatening. I did, and they were right. It was a blood clot, probably caused by inactivity on the flight. Luckily, there is treatment for it and no long term harm done. But this story could have had a much nastier ending.

So don't be dumb like I was. From now on, I will wear compression socks on flights longer than 8 hours, drink plenty of good fluids and minimize intake of not so good fluids like coffee and alcohol, and I'll try to remember to get up more often and do some in-seat exercises.

End of PSA...

10-12-2009, 10:48 AM
Thanks for the PSA and the reminder, flitcraft. I am glad you are doing ok and are getting treated. yes: we do tend to get blase about these things especially if we generally enjoy good health. There are some excellent in flight exercises. I don't wear compression socks, which I should I suppose given my age too--:) But I do tend to do a lot of in-seat exercises...thanks for posting this.

10-12-2009, 12:51 PM
I'm glad that you are OK, flitcraft - and thanks for posting this important reminder!

10-13-2009, 07:20 PM
This is such an important message! Thank you for sharing and glad you are ok Flitcraft

10-14-2009, 07:30 AM
Thanks for the well wishes! One other thing I should mention is that short people are at higher risk for DVT on planes because we can't put full weight on our feet as we sit, so our weight is borne on the thighs, which adds to poor circulation in the lower legs. One thing that helps is using the foot rest on the plane if you have them--though most coach seats don't, unfortunately. Of course, the Western Flyer or Tristar would make a dandy footrest if you can get away with sliding them out from under the seat in front a bit. ;)