LIFESTYLE

How To Prevent Blood Clots While Flying Or On Long Car Journeys

26/06/2014 14:07 BST | Updated 26/06/2014 14:59 BST

Did you know the risk of a blood clot is infinitely higher once you pass the two-hour mark in your journey? With thousands of people developing clots - known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) - in the UK, it's a serious yet common issue than one would think.

Whether it's flying on a plane or embarking on a long road trip, the most useful tip from a leading cardiologist is to drink water frequently.

Aside from hydrating your body - which is essential in the dry atmosphere of an aeroplane or the air-conditioned bubble of a car - it also prompts you to use the toilet more quickly, which means that you'll be moving and stretching your legs more.

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Blood clots in your thigh or legs - known as deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) can travel up to your lungs and block a vein. If this happens, you may have a heart attack.

"Deep veins pass through the centre of your leg and are surrounded by layers of muscle," says Bupa. "DVT happens when a blood clot forms in a deep vein.

"It affects about one in 1,000 people every year in the UK. DVT is most common in the deep veins of your lower leg (calf). It can also develop in the deep veins in your thigh and, more rarely, in other deep veins, such as the ones in your arm or pelvis"

The key problem with blood clots is that often, there are no symptoms to warn you. Therefore, it's all about prevention. Take regular stretching breaks, massage your thighs every 15 minutes and don't forget to wear your DVT prevention socks.

During a car journey, stop every two hours and walk around the service station car park.