October 13 is World Thrombosis Day. A thrombosis is another word for a “blood clot”.
I have written about athletes and blood clots before. Blood clots can happen to anyone! Did you know, you are at a higher risk for a blood clot if: (from Stop the Clot)
- Hospitalization for illness or surgery
- Major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, knee
- Severe trauma, such as a car accident
- Injury to a vein that may have been caused by a broken bone or severe muscle injury
- Hip or knee replacement surgery
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch, or ring
- Pregnancy, which includes up to three months after the baby is born
- The use of hormone therapy that contains estrogen
- A family history of blood clots
- Confinement to bed
- Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed
Know the Signs and Symptoms!!
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm. The signs and symptoms of a DVT include:
Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)
Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or Charley horse
Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
Leg (or arm) warm to touch
These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charley horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.
Travel can cause Blood Clots too!
Sitting in a confined space for a long time affects blood circulation. You may be dehydrated (this happens to me while flying!) which affects the viscosity (thickness) of your blood.
This is a great handout about risks and prevention.
Get up and move a bit if you are flying! Who cares what you look like! I’ve done stretches, toe touches and modified lunges in the aisle. Anything to get a bit of blood flowing. Try not to drink alcohol. Drink more water!