Why are we advised not to sit for prolonged periods of time, especially on long flights? To prevent blood clots !
Being immobilized for long periods of time slows down the blood flow. This may cause accumulation of blood cells in a certain part of a vein. In addition, we avoid drinking on the plane because that would mean getting up, squeezing by the other passenger and having everyone look at us before we dash to the bathroom. Less water means possible dehydration causing the blood to become thick. And suddenly, ouch! We experience a leg cramp. Is it just a muscle spasm due to sitting in the tight sardine-like seat or could we have formed a blood clot in our vein?
Normally, blood clots in response to injury preventing us from bleeding to death. However, sometimes blood clots will form without injury ( watch here ). They may either dissolve or cause a medical problem/emergency. If they get lodged in a vein or artery, they block the flow of blood to different organs like heart, brain or lungs resulting in a heart attack , stroke , or pulmonary embolism .
Thrombosis means the formation or presence of a blood clot within a blood vessel during life. This can occur either in a vein or artery (arterial-).
Causes of blood clots:
1. After surgery
2. Response to traumatic injury, auto accidents
3. Gradual buildup of plaque within an artery
5. Autoimmune disorder
7. Bleeding disorders
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