Travel-related thrombosis

Travel thrombosis is very rare, affecting around 0.01 percent of all air travelers.

Travel thrombosis may be caused by sitting for prolonged periods, a lack of legroom or a lack of possibility to move around. It can occur in an airplane, car, bus, train or ship. In the case of long journeys with no stopovers, the lack of fluid intake also further aggravates the situation.

Risk groups

  • Over-40s
  • Patients suffering from severe varicose veins
  • Heart disease patients
  • Women taking the contraceptive pill
  • Pregnant women and women who have recently given birth
  • Overweight persons
  • Persons who have suffered thrombosis in the past
  • Patients with cancer
  • Travellers with legs in a plaster cast covering a joint
  • Patients who have recently had a thigh operation

Preventative measures

  • Exercise your ankles regularly
  • Drink plenty of fluids (water)
  • Avoid taking sedatives or sleeping pills (particularly in the aircraft)
  • Possibly wear special elastic stockings
  • Possibly take blood-thinning tablets (in consultation with your GP)