How can someone prevent blood clots?


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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