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- More than 300 million people
who take flights lasting longer than four hours
are at risk for blood clots each year.
commonly referred to as blood clots,
are a serious public health concern,
affecting at least half a million Americans each year.
And at least one in ten will die suddenly
without being diagnosed.
As a clinician,
please counsel your patients
on their individual risk for blood clots
before they depart on long-distance travel.
Let patients know,
especially those who are of older age,
have a history of blood clots,
were recently hospitalized,
or are pregnant,
that they are at greater risk
for developing a blood clot,
and what they should do to prevent this
from occurring while traveling.
General measures recommended
for long-distance travelers include,
drinking plenty of water,
and frequent movement during travel.
Get up and move reminders while traveling
are the most important.
For example, when driving long distances,
your patient should stop the car every two hours,
and walk for a few minutes.
If your patients are flying,
When it is safe to do so,
they should get up from their seats every hour
and walk the length of the airplane cabin a few times.
If you have patients
with multiple risk factors for blood clots,
you can also prescribe properly fitted,
below the knee, graduated compression stockings
for use during long-distance travel.
However, compression stockings are not recommended
for travelers who have no risk factors.
Medications to prevent clots are recommended
only when the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
Your words influence the activity level
of your patients.
By educating patients about their risk
of developing blood clots while traveling,
you can empower them to take steps
to prevent this from happening.
For more information, please visit:
Chief Medical Officer and Associate Director for Science
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How to Avoid Blood Clots while Traveling