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medical & special requirements - deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

You may have read recent press coverage about a condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

According to a recent enquiry by the House of Lords, there is no medical evidence to suggest that DVT is linked exclusively with air travel. The condition is associated with immobility for long periods of time and therefore individuals seated in cars, buses, theatres and trains are all potentially at risk.

Your in-flight health is of primary concern to us and we recommend that anyone who suffers from blood clotting abnormalities, has a family history of DVT, has suffered a stroke, has undergone recent surgery, or is generally in poor health, consults their doctor for advice before travelling. Your GP will be able to provide you with detailed advice. Women who are pregnant, or have recently had a baby should seek advice from their antenatal team or health visitor.

There are a number of things travelers can do to reduce the likelihood of DVT on longhaul flights:

  • We recommend you avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water throughout the flight.
  • Stand up and stretch your legs occasionally and, when possible, move around the cabin. While seated, rotate your ankles and move your toes.
  • Avoid crossing your legs
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Use a neck pillow and eyeshades. Take warm socks to wear to help you relax.
  • If you have a stopover on your flight, if possible take a walk.
  • In addition, you may wish to read the feature in UP, our in-flight magazine found in the seat pocket on board the aircraft. It describes a few fun exercises you can do while sitting in your seat.
  • Some doctors recommend taking a low dose of aspirin before flying to thin the blood.
  • If you feel unwell after your trip, or develop swollen, painful legs or breathing difficulties you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  • Click here to find the latest information from the Department of Health.

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