Get comfortable in your seat and recline as much
Wear loose fitting clothing.
Store your hand luggage in the overhead lockers
to keep the room under the seat in front of you
Bend and straighten your legs, feet and toes
while seated every half-hour or so during the
Press the balls of your feet down hard against
the floor or foot-rest to increase the blood flow in
your legs and reduce clotting.
Do upper body and breathing exercises to further
Take occasional short walks around the cabin,
whilst the aircraft is cruising at altitude.
Take advantage of refuelling stopovers where it
may be possible to get off the plane and walk about.
Drink a reasonable amount of water.
Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks (e.g. coffee),
which in excess lead to dehydration and immobility.
Avoid taking sleeping pills, which also cause
you to remain still (inertia).
Compression stockings or aspirin?
You may also need to discuss the use of
graduated compression stockings or treatment with
blood-thinning drugs if you are in a high-risk
Graduated compression stockings are widely
available from pharmacies, and pharmacists can
provide advice on use and fitting.
While there is evidence that graduated
compression stockings may be useful, there
is no evidence that aspirin is effective in
preventing travel-related DVT.
Because aspirin can have serious side
effects like bruising, bleeding from the gut
and allergies you should consult your doctor
before deciding to take this drug. People
taking aspirin already should not increase
Symptoms of a DVT
For the vast majority of air passengers there
will be no problems upon disembarkation. However
symptoms of DVT can appear after arrival.
If you develop swollen painful legs,
especially where one is more affected than
the other, or if you have breathing
difficulties, see a local doctor urgently or
go to the nearest Emergency Department.
Treating a DVT
You will need medicines to treat your
DVT and to reduce the risk of having another
Initially you will probably be given a drug called
heparin for five to seven days to prevent
the clot getting any bigger. You will also need to take another type
of anti-clotting drug, called warfarin, for
between six weeks and 12 months.
Your doctor will carefully work out the
dose of your anti-clotting drug. If the dose
is too high, you can get bleeding problems.