Holiday travel is in full swing. If you are planning on heading out for the fourth of July, you may not know the health risks you are taking. Louise Fearon, a frequent flier, has a medical condition she must keep in mind while traveling. She has high blood pressure she has to take medicine for. The combination of high blood pressure and flying puts her at high risk for developing a blood clot. To prevent a blood clot, Fearon drinks plenty of water before she boards the plane. When she is on long flights, she gets up from her seat and moves around. Local health experts say Louise is doing the right thing. Registered Nurse, Kay Fipps, recommends avoiding alcohol because that dehydrates you. She says to stay well hydrated and do certain exercises. If the cabin allows, get up and do some walking if it is going to be a long flight. Fearon stretches out her toes and legs while she’s sitting in her seat. There are exercises that can help, even in cramped airplane seats. Nurse Fipps says, "We call them isometric exercises. You point your toes, and then flex your foot. Point and flex your feet about 10 to 15 times every hour. You can also do ankle rotations. Rotate them around in a circle. That increases the blood flow back to the heart so the blood doesn't sit there and get thick which increases the chance of a blood clot." Nurses say everyone is at risk of developing a clot, even people who consider themselves healthy and active. Nurse Fibbs says "it can break off in the circulation and travel through the blood stream and obstruct the artery which can cause death, so it is potentially fatal" If you have swelling in the calf or redness around the vein you may have developed a clot. Health officials recommend seeking a doctor immediately.
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