Travelers and Poor Blood Circulation
Is there a simple solution to a very serious medical problem? For many
travelers, the answer is maybe. If travelers would take the necessary steps, it
could help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The main reason they don't is
because not everybody knows what DVT is, and they do not know what to do that
might help prevent it. If they have some knowledge about DVT, they probably have
the attitude that "It can't happen to me."
don't plant yourself in the seat sit there for several hours in the same position without moving
Let's start with the basics. Poor Blood Circulation is a lack of blood flow to
the organs and muscles in the body. Blood is what carries the oxygen and
nutrients to all organs and muscles in your body. We need both to survive and
function. Also, blood is suppose to cleanse the body from the carbon dioxide and
the wastes produced. Poor blood circulation means a shortage of delivery of
oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and a highly ineffective cleansing process.
It indicates on the Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) website
that: "Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT is a blood clot that can form in your legs
and sometimes move to your lungs, where it could be fatal."..."DVT is a condition
resulting from the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) inside a deep vein, commonly
located in the calf or thigh.
DVT occurs when the blood clot either partially or completely blocks the flow
of blood in the vein. Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year in
the United States which is more than AIDS and breast cancer combined!"
Also on the DVT website there is a special warning specifically for Travelers. It states:
"Prolonged sitting during air travels slows down circulation and increases the
blood's propensity to clot. In addition, tightly packed seating and long periods
of immobility can contribute to an increased risk of DVT.
Even in young, healthy travelers, long stretches of time spent in cramped seats
of an aircraft with very low humidity may set the stage for the formation of a
blood clot in the lower leg."
When you are traveling in a car, it is pretty easy to just stop regularly at the
Rest Stops to get out, stretch, walk or run for a while. Trains and buses
usually have a little more individual space to move around than on commercial
airlines where most people fly coach. That is why it is sometimes referred to as
"economy class syndrome" which is misleading terminology because it implies that
people who fly in first class with a little more leg room do not have anything
to worry about.
That is not true. Conditions in an airplane make the risk of DVT greater than in
cars, trains and buses because a thrombus (blood clot) is more likely to happen
in a condition when blood is thick. This is the side effect of the thin air
inside the aircraft cabin.
But whatever your choice of transportation, do not just "plant" yourself in the
seat and then sit there for several hours in the same position without moving at
all. The exact cause of DVT is not very clear, but prolonged immobility and
dehydration can increase the risk.
Eventhough you may be squeezed in and confined in very tight area you need to do
the best that you can, as much as you can, for as long as you can, to keep your