Q:

How can someone prevent blood clots?

A:

Quick Answer

Ways to prevent blood clots include not sitting or standing for more than an hour, wearing loose fitting clothing and wearing compression stockings when a doctor says to do so. Such actions aim to keep the blood thin and prevent too much coagulation.

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Full Answer

To prevent blood clots:

  • Ensure clothes, socks and stockings are loose fitting.
  • Elevate the legs around 6 inches above the heart every so often.
  • If a doctor recommends wearing prescription stockings, do so.
  • If a doctor prescribes exercises, do them regularly.
  • When travelling on long journeys, change position periodically.
  • When sitting or standing, change stance every hour for a little while.
  • Avoid injuring the legs and do not sit with them crossed.
  • Consume less salt.
  • Avoid placing pillows beneath the knees.
  • Try elevating the bottom end of the bed by 4 to 6 inches using blocks or books.
  • When a doctor prescribes blood thinning medications, take them.

It also helps to understand what places a person at higher risk of blood clots:

  • Having recent surgery, bad bruises, a hip replacement or receiving cancer treatment.
  • Being over the age of 65, having a stroke and being confined to a bed or chair for long periods of time.
  • Taking hormonal birth control and being obese.
  • Heart problems, varicose veins, previous history of blood clots and family members having blood clots.
  • Going on a long journey that requires a lot of sitting, especially plane journeys.
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