Travel Advice: DVT (Air Related Travel)




Limited research suggests that immobilisation on journeys lasting more than five hours may increase the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

The vast majority of air passengers do not need clinical intervention but all should do regular flexion/extension exercises of the lower limbs, deep breathing exercises, and walk around the cabin when safe, to help reduce risk.

Passengers should also drink plenty of water, avoiding excess coffee and alcohol.

Those at increased risk include: anyone with a history of DVT or PE, those who have experienced recent hospitalisation for major surgery especially hip or knee replacement, those with congestive heart failure, paralysis of the lower limbs or malignancy and those who have suffered stroke.

Clinical advice may be sought about the advisability of travelling, suitable exercise, and the suitability of compression stockings or anticoagulants.

Pregnant women or those who have recently delivered, and women on the contraceptive pill or HRT may also be at increased risk.