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According to a report by the CDC, anyone traveling more than four hours, whether by air, car, bus, or train, can be at risk for blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Hence, if after a long distance trip, you begin to experience some strange feeling of pain in the legs or chest, or cough with blood-stained sputum, it could be a DVT.   

A picture of someone suffering from deep vein thrombosis

What is DVT:

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside the body, usually in the legs. Blood clot can form in the deep veins of the legs during travel as a result of sitting still in an uncomfortable and tight position for a long period of time.

Ironically, clotting in certain instances such as when someone sustains an injury is an important process that helps prevent blood loss. The situation, however, changes and/or becomes dangerous when clots form inside the veins and fail to dissolve. In this situation, the blood clot within a vessel can become a threat to life.

According to The Center of Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that DVT, together with pulmonary embolism (a type of venous clot affecting the lungs) affects up to 900,000 Americans each year. Also, this type of abnormal blood clotting is reported to kill approximately 100,000 Americans annually.

Some of risk factors of DVT include:

  • Family history of blood clot.
  • Old Age
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Recent surgery
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking

Symptoms of DVT

  1. Swelling of your leg or arm
  2. Pain or tenderness that you can’t explain
  3. Skin that is warm to the touch
  4. Redness of the skin

Diagnosing DVT

Diagnosing a condition such as DVT can be quite difficult because symptoms are usual acute and may pass without being noticed. According to the CDC, nearly 50% of people with DVT have no symptoms.

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, especially after a long trip, please visit your doctor for proper examination and investigation. Your doctor may order for laboratory investigations including blood tests and ultrasound scans. If these come out as positive for DVT, he will place you on appropriate lifesaving treatment.