You can take steps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). If you're at risk for these conditions:
- See your doctor for regular checkups.
- Take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.
- Get out of bed and move around as soon as possible after surgery or illness (as your doctor recommends). Moving around lowers your chance of developing a blood clot.
- Exercise your lower leg muscles during long trips. This helps prevent blood clots from forming.
If you've had DVT or PE before, you can help prevent future blood clots. Follow the steps above and:
- Take all medicines that your doctor prescribes to prevent or treat blood clots
- Follow up with your doctor for tests and treatment
- Use compression stockings as your doctor directs to prevent leg swelling
Contact your doctor at once if you have any signs or symptoms of DVT or PE. For more information, go to "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?"
The risk of developing DVT while traveling is low. The risk increases if the travel time is longer than 4 hours or you have other DVT risk factors.
During long trips, it may help to:
- Walk up and down the aisles of the bus, train, or airplane. If traveling by car, stop about every hour and walk around.
- Move your legs and flex and stretch your feet to improve blood flow in your calves.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol.
If you have risk factors for DVT, your doctor may advise you to wear compression stockings while traveling. Or, he or she may suggest that you take a blood-thinning medicine before traveling.