This week, there has been a lot of talk in the news about blood clots. The sudden attention being drawn to the subject has opened up more dialogue about what a blood clot is, how dangerous it can be and what symptoms to look for.
Truck drivers lead a sedentary life as a result of the duties of the job. Many often spend hours sitting behind the wheel. This type of lifestyle is at the highest risk to develop blood clots. A 2007 study by pLOS Medicine found that the more a person travels, the higher their risk for developing a blood clot.
Blood clots often from in the veins of the legs and symptoms often go unrecognized. Not recognizing the symptoms of a blood clot can be life threatening. If the clot travels to the lungs, it can result in a pulmonary embolism or PE. PEs are responsible for 200,000 deaths a year.
What are the symptoms?
- Swelling of the arm, leg, ankle or foot
- Cramping of the arm, leg, ankle or foot
- Arm, leg, ankle or foot feeling warm to the touch.
- Sudden onset of chest pain or shortness of breath.
What can I do to prevent the development of a blood clot?
- Try to get out of your truck every 30-45 minutes and walk around your truck.
- If you can’t get out of your truck, flex your legs and roll your foot.
- Drink lots of water.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, including loose-fitting socks.
- Try to limit your sodium intake.
Who’s most at risk?
- People who sit for prolonged periods at a time.
- Those who are currently or have ever been treated for cancer.
- Those who have recently suffered a broken hip, pelvis or leg.
- Those who are obese.
- Those who have recently suffered a head injury or bruise.
- Those who have suffered a stroke.
- Those who have varicose veins.
- Those who have heart trouble.
- Those who have had a clot before.
- Those who have recently undergone a surgery.
- Those who have a family history of blood clots.
I think I have a blood clot, now what?
If you think you might have a blood clot, go directly to the emergency room, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources urges.
Your doctor may give you a blood thinner or an anticoagulant.