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Travel-Related Thrombosis

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HealthCare Resources works closely with Dr. Hector Escoto who is a vascular specialist/vascular surgeon. Because it is the time for so many to return to the area for the winter months which means long airline flights or car travel, we thought it would be a good time to ask him some questions regarding travel-related thrombosis.

HCR: What is Travel Related DVT?

Dr. Escoto: DVT is a clotting of the blood in any of the deep veins, usually in the calf.  If a clot develops, it usually makes its presence known by an intense pain in the affected calf. Medical attention should be sought immediately if this occurs, especially after a long journey.  In some cases, this can be fatal, if the clot breaks off and makes its way to the lungs where it can then affect the lung’s ability to take in oxygen.

HCR: What are the symptoms? How will I know it is a DVT?

Dr. Escoto: A DVT can occur some days or even weeks after a trip. In most situations, the person will have no symptoms and through normal movement, the clot will break up. If the clot is larger, it can cause an obstruction and prevent the blood from flowing through the veins. When this happens, a person might experience pain, redness and swelling in the calf – the pain is made worse when walking or standing.  If these symptoms are experienced you should see medical attention immediately.

HCR: Who is at risk?

Dr. Escoto: Immobility for an extended period of time, travel for more than 3 hours in the four weeks before or after surgery, a personal/family history of DVT, active cancer/cancer treatment, recent surgery or leg surgery, existing clotting abnormality, obesity (BMI over 30), chronic or acute medical illness, hormones/contraceptive pill, inflammatory bowel disease, varicose veins, pregnancy or two months post-partum, existing cardiac problems, dehydration, severe infection, over 60 years old.

HCR: How can I reduce my risk?

Dr. Escoto: If you have recently been treated for DVT, you should wait two weeks before travelling on long journeys. Although it is unlikely you’ll develop a DVT while travelling, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk:

  • Take short walks, even up and down the aisle of the plane.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Drink minimal alcohol or too many drinks containing caffeine.
  • Do not take sleeping pills.
  • Wear compression stockings if you have risk factors for DVT.

HCR: What kind of compression stocks are best?

Dr. Escoto: There are many different kinds on the market, each expressing their own unique qualities. It is important that any stocking be fitted properly by a professional. A stocking that is too tight and worn by a traveler with existing problems can do more harm than good – cutting in to the skin on a long flight and potentially causing ulceration and an increased risk to DVT. Never guess the size of the stocking you require, asked to be measured properly. A good stocking will come in a variety of sizes allowing for measurement from the knee to the ankle as well as the foot size. If the stocking is too tight around the knee, it will prevent essential venous return, causing the blood to pool around the knee. Make sure they are comfortable with your chosen footwear.

HCR: What is the treatment for DVT?

Dr. Escoto: Treatment is anticoagulation with either Heparin or Warfarin. Heparin works by making the body’s natural blood thinner work better. Warfarin takes a few days to work fully so Heparin injections are often used for the first few days after diagnosis.  You will need regular blood tests while you are on these medications to ensure that the level is correct – too much and you risk increased bleeding and too little may not stop more clots from forming. You’ll also be advised to use compression stockings to compress the leg veins which stimulates the blood flow.

Thank you Dr. Escoto! Safe travels to everyone!

Each month, HealthCare Resources and Dr. Escoto have a Vascular Clinic. This is a screening clinic for circulation, blood flow, vein evaluation. If you would like further information, please contact us at


2 Responses to 'Travel-Related Thrombosis'

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  1. Very informative blog.nice post.

  2. This blog is very usefull, thanks for sharing these blog.

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