Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prevention
Preventive measures are used before and
after any procedure or event that increases your risk of
deep vein thrombosis. These measures include:
- Taking anticoagulants to
prevent a blood clot that can form after some types of surgery. They are
also used in people who have a high risk of developing blood clots, such as
those who have had previous clots.
- 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 special stockings called
compression stockings to help prevent deep vein
thrombosis if you are at an increased risk. See a slideshow about how to put on compression stockings .
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. Learn about preventing blood clots from long periods of travel.
If you are
already at high risk for deep vein thrombosis, talk to your doctor before
taking a long trip.
Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC)
devices are also used to prevent deep vein thrombosis. These devices
alternately inflate and deflate knee-high boots, which results in decreased
pooling of blood in the legs. IPC pumps are often used when people stay in a