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Will Aspirin Prevent Blood Clot on Long Flight?

People who sit still on long airplane flights put themselves at risk for a blood clot in the legs. Aspirin can help; so can moving around the cabin.

Deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in one of the large veins of the leg, is a dangerous condition. At one point about a decade ago, it was dubbed “economy-class syndrome” because people on long flights who can’t stretch out are at risk. Actually, anyone sitting still for hours could develop this complication, whether they sit in first class or economy, in a car or in front of a computer.

The danger from a DVT is that the clot could break loose and land in the lungs. There it forms a pulmonary embolism, which makes breathing difficult. Pulmonary embolism is potentially life threatening.

Will Hours on a Plane Lead to a Blood Clot?

Q. I will be traveling overseas soon and am worried about the effects of sitting for 10 hours on the plane. I have heard that aspirin might prevent a blood clot in my legs. Is this true?

A. If you don’t move your legs around, you could develop a blood clot. This can be a complication of surgery such as knee or hip replacement as well as of a long flight. Getting up every few hours and walking to the bathroom can be useful, if that is possible. To that end, you may wish to accept a beverage whenever a flight attendant offers one.

The Activity of Aspirin:

People who have experienced a blood clot in their legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) are more prone to another clot. Low-dose aspirin has been found to reduce the risk of recurrences (European Journal of Internal Medicine, Jan., 2014).

Aspirin can interact with a number of other medications, though. Ask your doctor whether aspirin would be safe with any other drugs you take.

5/10/18 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/how-do-you-weigh-the-benefits-and-risks-of-aspirin/

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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