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Traveller’s Thrombosis

Traveller’s thrombosis are blood clots which occur probably as a result of sitting still for long periods of time and can occur when travelling by car, boat, coach or plane.

How common is the problem?

Given that millions of people travel millions of miles each year, the risk of dying from a blood clot remains extremely low. The risk of developing a blood clot in the leg may be greater but fortunately, in most cases, the clot will dissolve and go away without causing any problems. If the clot does not go away it may grow and you may become aware of symptoms in the leg, namely swelling and pain. If you seek medical advice you will receive treatment to help the clot dissolve before giving rise to any serious problems.

What problems can arise from a blood clot in the leg?

If the blood clot in the leg grows it will cause swelling and pain in the leg, in some cases if they are left untreated the pieces can break off and travel to the lungs.

What can I do to prevent blood clots?

If you have had previous problems or you are suffering from any condition effecting your heart or lungs, or you are suffering from any form of cancer, you should seek medical advice either from your own doctor or from the airline doctor. Anybody can travel but it is important to exclude any condition which might make you more prone to develop blood clots. If you do have this condition you will be given separate advice to make flying safe.

What precautions can I take to avoid a blood clot?

Purchase a pair of elastic compression stockings, these must provide at least 20 mmHG compression at the ankle to be effective. Take exercise before boarding the plane and make sure when you are on the plane that you regularly exercise your legs. This can be achieved by either walking around the aeroplane or using an exercise device i.e. Airogym – for more information visit www.airogym.com. Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking alcohol.

How do I obtain stockings?

Stockings can be purchased through our office by telephoning +44 7787 124263 or +44 7770 580013, or by emailing [email protected] Alternatively the stockings can be purchased through Medi Travel, either by visiting their website www.mediuk.co.uk or contacting them by telephone on 01432 351682 and asking for Airline Travel Customer Services. You will be asked for the circumference of your ankles, right and left leg and your height. The stockings should be dispatched within 24 hours.

Should I take Aspirin?

If you are going to take Aspirin you should take soluble Aspirin as it can cause bleeding from the stomach in susceptible people. If you have not taken Aspirin on a regular basis, then you should consult your General Practitioner before doing so. It is unwise to take Aspirin for the first time just before setting off on a long journey