Traveller’s Thrombosis risk factors

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The main risk factors for developing traveller’s thrombosis are staying seated on flights that take more than four hours, or travelling for more than six hours by car. This causes the circulation to start undergoing changes that may predispose the person to thrombosis.  

Together, a lack of movement, atmospheric pressure and the reduction of circulatory velocity cause greater “stickiness” of the red blood cells, principally in the calves, due to the legs being bent for many hours. This situation can cause the formation of clots. However, although sitting with the legs bent is harmful to venous circulation, the risk of a clot forming is relatively low.  

The following may increase the risk of experiencing thrombosis during travel:  

Scissors and scalpel

Having recently had surgery.  

Oral contraceptives

Taking oral contraceptives.  

Holter test, Patient with electrodes in the chest connected to a portable device

Having cardiac, neurological or respiratory disease, or cancer.  

DNA molecule or helix

Having a genetic predisposition to higher coagulability of the blood.  



A pitcher of beer and a Martini or cocktail glass


People with risk factors that increase the chance of thrombosis are advised to consult a healthcare professional about the need for additional measures such as:

Compression stockings

Use of compression socks while travelling.

Heparin injection

Taking preventative treatment with heparin before travelling.


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