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Last Updated On: 7/10/2013

Did you know that over 100,000 Americans die every year due to Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism.

Did you know that some 900,000 Americans each year have a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism episode that can damage their lungs or other organs and in some instances even cause death.

Did you know that air travelers, particularly on long distance flights, are at high risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot that forms inside a vein and blocks the flow of blood.

In serious cases, DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism, when part of the blood clot breaks loose and travels through the blood stream to the lungs.

Once it gets to the lungs, the runaway blood clot can block a lung artery, causing damage to the lungs or other organs due to lack of oxygen.

Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Here are some of the key factors that can elevate the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis:

* Sitting for long periods of time, such as during long-distance flights, long car and bus drives or train rides or prolonged bed rest

* Inheriting a blood clotting disorder

* Injury or surgery

* Pregnancy

* Estrogen use, including use of oral contraceptives

* Cancer

* Advanced age

* Obesity

* History of Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism

How to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis

By adopting a few simple practices, people can minimize the chances of a Deep Vein Thrombosis episode.

Here are a few tips:

* Increase leg muscle activity during long periods of sitting to boost blood flow in the legs. During flights, walk around the airline cabin or exercise your lower legs and ankles while seated in a car or train.

* Drink adequate fluids, and avoid alcohol and caffeine, to prevent dehydration.

* Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid constriction of veins.

* Take short naps, instead of long ones, to avoid prolonged inactivity.

* Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen, as well as avoid smoking for overall good cardiovascular health.