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This is one item you MUST bring with you when you fly


You settle into your seat and exchange pleasantries with the person next to you. “I’m travelling for a medical conference,” she says. “We all are, actually.” She gestures to the now full business class cabin. “We’re doctors.”

  

It’s quite comforting knowing you’re in a plane cabin full of doctors. And while I start checking out the entertainment offerings, almost in unison, the doctors take off their shoes and slip on compression socks. 

 

“They’re a life saver,” she says. 

 

It’s like I’ve been reborn. I begin to spread the word like some TV evangelist. So here I am preaching from the mountain top on why compression socks matter. 

 

“Normally, blood flow through the veins and back to the heart is augmented by the calf muscle pump,” Dr. Scott N. Hurlbert, a vascular surgeon at UCHealth Vein and Vascular Surgery Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado told HuffPost. 

 

“When you are travelling by air, you usually don’t have much room to move around. As a result, the blood becomes more stagnant, which can lead to blood clots.”

 

Compression socks mimic that pumping of the calf muscle when you’re immobile — and have the added benefit of preventing your legs from swelling,  Dr. Michael Go, an associate professor in the division of vascular diseases and surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said. 

 

And the longer you fly (hello, all Australians), the greater the risk of developing a DVT. 

 

So slip on a pair of compression socks and move about at least every two hours and you’ll be on your way to a DVT-free flight.

 

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Published: 6 February 2022

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