The falling price of oil means two things for travelers: cheaper gas and airline deals. But before you jet or drive off to that much needed break, you should know about an unexpected health danger that could turn your family vacation into something much worse. A condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur when blood clots form in the deep veins of your legs after sitting still in a confined space for a long period of time. In fact, traveling for more than four hours by car, train or plane can put you at risk for DVT.
It is important to know what can increase your risk of DVT as most people who develop travel-associated blood clots have one or more other risk factors, as well.
Risk Factors Can Include:
- Being older than age 40
- Injury to a vein, often caused by fractures, severe muscle injury or major surgery
- Increased estrogen, often caused by taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
- Pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after childbirth
- Previous blood clot or family history of blood clots
DVT can cause leg pain or swelling, but may also occur without symptoms. DVT affects approximately 900,000 people in the U.S., and the longer you are immobile, the greater your risk for developing a blood clot. Ultimately, this can lead to a more serious health problem when part of the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs causing a blockage – or pulmonary embolism – which could be fatal.
Dr. Robert Lookstein, interventional radiologist at Mount Sinai, joined me to discuss why it’s important that you know about DVT as the travel season gets underway. He also shared how to recognize the symptoms of DVT, and what to do to protect yourself and your family against the possibilities of blood clots during travel.
Take a look at our chat below.
For more information about DVT, visit: www.ClearingTheClot.com.
Meet Our Guest
Robert A Lookstein, MD FSIR FAHA, is Professor of Radiology and Surgery in the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. After completing medical school at the State University of NY (SUNY) Health Science Center at Brooklyn in 1995, he did his residency and fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at The Mount Sinai Medical School, New York. He subsequently joined the division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
Dr. Lookstein lectures around the world on various subjects in the field of Vascular and Interventional Radiology including peripheral arterial imaging and intervention, endovascular interventions, aortic stent-grafts, and deep vein thrombosis. He is recognized as an innovator in the field of peripheral arterial disease and noninvasive vascular imaging.
Dr. Lookstein currently is Clinical Director and Chief of the Division of Interventional Radiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He is a Member of the Steering Committee of the American Heart Association’s Council on Peripheral Arterial Disease. Dr. Lookstein serves as the Chair of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) service line for peripheral arterial disease.
Dr. Lookstein is currently involved in numerous research studies related to peripheral vascular disease imaging and intervention. He currently serves as the Mount Sinai Medical Center Co-Principal Investigator for the NIH sponsored CORAL study examining the cardiovascular effects of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis and the Site Principal Investigator for the NIH sponsored ATTRACT trial examining the role of endovascular therapy for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis.