About Blood Clots

What is a Blood Clot and how to prevent it

What Is A Blood Clot ?

The body sends out platelets and proteins in your plasma to form clots to stop bleeding in an artery or vein. Sometimes clots can form without injury or they do not dissolve as they should, this can lead to dangerous health problems.

What is the difference between DVT and PE?

DVT also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis is the name for a clot that forms deep inside your body in a major vein, usually in the leg.

Sometimes a clot breaks free and travels up the veins through the heart to lodge in the arteries of the lungs. This condition is called a Pulmonary Embolism - PE. Life-threatening complications come into play when the clot is large.

6 Ways you can help prevent DVT, varicose veins & swollen legs

1. Exercise
Regular exercise will help pump the blood in your veins back to your heart. Remember to keep moving during the day as this will help your legs pump blood back to your heart and not pool in the lower legs. Take the dog for a walk or catch up with a friend for a walk along the beach.

2. Wear compression socks when travelling on a long trip 
See JINNI MD and JOBST Flight Socks 
Reduce your chances of developing DVT - refer to your doctor for your level of compression. 

3. Wear Compression stockings/socks when sitting at your desk at work 
Go for a lunch time walk and get up from your desk regularly and move those legs. 
For knee high socks and stockings please click here

4. During pregnancy
Wear maternity compression stockings for that extra support for you and baby
Find out more about Maternity Compression 

5. Cut back the cigarettes
The best option is to quit smoking altogether but we realise this may be quite hard for some.

6. Lose weight
Swap bad eating habits for good ones. 

Exercise to prevent DVT

7 Risk Factors That Can Increase Your Chances Of Developing DVT

1. Being bedridden for a long time
There is a higher risk of developing DVT for those who are bedridden after illness: People with broken bones or limbs in casts, individuals who are immobile due to strokes or spinal cord injuries, knee and hip replacements are also at risk. Surgery or injury increases the risk of a clot but taking precautions can reduce the likelihood of a problem developing.

2. Standing in one place or sitting for hours without much movement. 
Are you a retail sales assistant, medical or office worker who spends hours without standing, walking or stretching? When your legs don’t move, your calf muscles don’t pump the blood back to your heart. Blood pools in the lower leg which can cause blood clots to form.

3. Lengthy travel trips
Spending hours in a plane, car, bus, train or bus without walking, stretching (moving) increases your odds of developing DVT. Being sedentary is a huge issue as quite often there is no room to move the legs. Another factor that can increase your odds of DVT whilst travelling may include a family or personal history of DVT or varicose veins. Also if you are undergoing hormone therapy, smoke or are overweight this may increase your odds of developing DVT.

4. Pregnancy or recently having given birth
Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk than those who are not pregnant of forming blood clots in the legs and pelvis. During pregnancy the blood flow back to the heart is reduced, estrogen levels rise when pregnant which means an increased clotting risk. Combined with these towards the end of the pregnancy most women move less, which increases the risk. Estrogen levels go back to normal 7-12 weeks post-partum. Swelling in the legs is an issue that many pregnant women face - this is also one of the symptoms of DVT. If you experience swelling please refer to your doctor. Your doctor may also recommend Maternity Stockings for extra support during and after pregnancy either in the form of stockings Please see our Maternity Stockings for that extra support or abdominal support which will also take some of the pressure off your legs (Please see our IT'S YOU BABE range)

5. Getting older
As we age our blood has more potential to clot and develop DVT compared to a younger person. Although DVT can occur in younger people also. 

6. Smoking
Harms the lining of your blood vessels which can contribute to increased blood clotting. Platelets in the blood become stickier which can also increases chances of blood clotting.

7. Being overweight
Increases the pressure in your veins in your legs.

* Please note: these are guidelines only. If in doubt please refer to your doctor for your individual situation