Question

Blood Clot (Thrombus)

What is the best way to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

A Answers (2)

  • There are several good ways to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but the simplest is to exercise your calves. If you are sitting for long periods during the day, make sure to get up and walk around every half hour. If you are unable to get up, stretch and flex your calf muscles while you are sitting. Those who are hospitalized or on bed rest at home should also work their arm, leg, and neck muscles periodically (or have a nurse or family member do it for you) to prevent blood from pooling in veins.

  • AHealthwise answered

    Preventive measures might be used before and after any procedure or event that increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These measures include:

    • Taking anticoagulants to prevent a blood clot that can form after some types of surgery.
    • Exercising your lower leg muscles to improve circulation in your legs. Point your toes up toward your head so that the calves of your legs are stretched, then relax. Repeat. This exercise is especially important to do when you are sitting for long periods of time.
    • Getting up out of bed as soon as possible after an illness or surgery. It is very important to get moving as soon as you are able. If you cannot get out of bed, do the leg exercise described above every hour to keep the blood moving through your legs.
    • Using compression stockings to help prevent DVT if you are at an increased risk.

    Even if you are healthy and have a low risk of blood clots, sitting still for a long flight or road trip raises your risk of getting blood clots. If you already have a blood clot risk, prolonged sitting raises your risk even more.

    Put on compression stockings during travel:

    Sitting still for a long flight or road trip raises your risk of getting blood clots. It's important to take steps to prevent blood clots when you travel.

    In the hospital:

    Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices are also used to prevent DVT. These devices inflate and deflate knee-high boots, which reduces pooling of blood in the legs. IPC pumps are often used when people stay in a hospital.

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

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Who is most at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?