Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blood Clot's * DVT * During Travel - Athletes at greater risk!

For any of you that run marathons, race in triathlon or are simply traveling a lot this post is a MUST READ! A lot of people don't know what a DVT is.

Dr. Stanley Mohler, Director of Aerospace Medicine at Wright State Medical School, calls this the Stealth Disease because symptoms usually don't show up until several days or more after the flight.
If you feel any of the symptoms listed below, see a doctor.You will probably forget exactly what symptoms to watch for, so carry the wallet-size Leaflet. After 30 days you are probably safe, but you must still avoid surgery for three months. If surgery is unavoidable, see the article by Patel referenced in the bibliography.
Leg symptoms (Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT) may appear during flight or in the next few days.
  • Sudden swelling in one lower leg. (A little swelling in both legs is normal in flight.)
  • Cramp or tenderness in one lower leg.
  • Bruise or swelling behind knee.
Chest symptoms (Pulmonary Embolism, PE) usually appear 2-4 days or more after the initial blood clot, which you may not have noticed:
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid breathing, panting
  • cramp in your side, painful breathing
  • chest pain, sometimes accompanied by shoulder pain
  • fever
  • coughing up blood
  • fainting (often the first sign, especially in older people)


Avoid elastic "support" hose. They are not the same as graduated compression stockings. Support hose have the same elasticity along the entire length and may actually be harmful. Medical compression hose have greater compression at the ankles and gradually less and less going up the calf. If your stockings are not much tighter at the ankle, they are not the kind you need. 

You may wonder why compression stockings would not aggravate the problem, making leg circulation worse. By constricting the diameter of veins, the stockings increase the velocity of blood flow. (To maintain a given flow of liquid through a constricted pipe, the velocity has to increase.) This avoids the sluggish flow that is conducive to clotting. The compression also helps keep fluids in circulation instead of collecting in the lower legs, causing the swelling that can make it difficult to get your shoes back on after a flight. 

Putting on compression hose can be difficult. The ankle section of the stocking is very tight and hard to pull over your heel. It helps if you work your thumbs all the way down into the heel of the stocking before you start pulling the stocking over your foot. Then your thumbs can help pull the tight part of the stocking over your heel and up your calf. Check out this video from CEP Compression on how to put on CEP Compression socks during a Triathlon Transition -