A story in the Tampa Bay Times warns readers that a long airplane trip can put them at risk of suffering a blood clot.
The story cites research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which found that taking a blood thinner – or even a baby aspirin – before such a trip may reduce that risk.
Anyone can be at a higher risk of blood clots in the legs, called deep vein thrombosis, on an airplane trip. But the story said it’s particularly acute for people who have recently undergone knee or hip replacement surgery.
Both recent surgery and long periods of physical inactivity are well-documented risk factors for developing blood clots.
Other risk factors include a family history of blood clots, pregnancy and use of birth control pills. While all birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a number of studies indicate that pills containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone increase that risk up to three times compared to other pills on the market.
Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.
The Tampa Bay Times story says the best way to lower the blood clot risk is to get up and walk at least every couple of hours during the flight. This is even more important as you get older, because the risk of blood clots goes up with age.
The condition often goes unnoticed, according to the article. But severe cases can cause painful swelling and inflammation, which often occurs behind the knee.
And if a large clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, heart or brain, the consequences can be debilitating or even deadly.
Long airline flights can also be risky for people with cardiovascular disease, because decreased cabin pressure at high altitudes means passengers inhale less oxygen with each breath, the story says.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.
See the story here: