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Thrombosis affects thousands of people in Britain every year; however it is not as widely discussed as illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks, diabetes or strokes. Without the correct treatment, thrombosis can have fatal consequences, so it is important that thrombosis is correctly identified and that prompt action is taken. People who are suffering from thrombosis should be given adequate support to help them manage their condition.

NHS Resources

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom provides a clear series of resources to help patients to understand thrombosis and the risks that are associated with it. Reading these resources can help patients to develop a better understanding of their diagnosis. In addition to this, local health trusts also provide varied resources to give people practical support for dealing with thrombosis. These practical support services include specialist clinics to help patients to manage difficult medication, such as Warfarin. Regular checks like these help medication users to feel more confident in the medication which they have been given to treat their conditions.

LINK – NHS resource for thrombosis.

Financial Support and Benefits

Thrombosis may mean that a person is unable to work, although this is not always the case. If you’re forced off of work for a short period of time because of your thrombosis, then your employer may be required to provide you with sick pay during your illness. Most employees in the United Kingdom qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that’s paid by your employer for up-to 28 weeks. The minimum SSP is currently £89.35 per week. In order to qualify for SSP, you need to be declared unfit for work for at least 4 days in a row.

Some employers will be prepared to offer their staff a higher rate of sick pay if they are forced to spend time off of work. This is normal set out in the contract of employment or the staff handbook. If you are unsure about how much your employer will pay you, you should speak to the HR professional.

Some thrombosis sufferers may also be eligible to claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to help them to cope with the financial costs of living with thrombosis. These benefits are assessed based on need and are not guaranteed to everyone who is suffering from thrombosis or post-thrombotic syndrome. Patients are most likely to be able to claim PIP/DLA if they are able to prove that they have mobility issues which prevent them from being able to return to employment.

If you wish to make a claim for benefits like these, you may wish to seek expert advice before filling in the forms, in order to maximise your chances of being able to make a successful claim.

You may also need to get medical evidence to prove that you are suffering from a serious medical condition. Some PIP/DLA candidates are required to undergo a physical test and face-to-face interview as part of the current eligibility requirements. These benefits are also reviewed regularly to make sure that people are able to return to work if their condition improves.

Support Groups

There are a small number of thrombosis support groups based in the UK. These groups give people a place to meet to discuss what life is like for people who suffer from thrombosis. Many of the people who use and attend these groups are chronic sufferers, and enjoy having the ability to talk to people who are in the same situation that they are in. For those who are unable to get to a physical support group, there are also plenty of online support groups and web forums that patients can join. These websites allow people to discuss their condition with a global audience.

Thrombosis UK is the UK’s leading thrombosis charity. The charity aims to provide support and advice to thrombosis sufferers and healthcare providers across the country. This includes all aspects of thrombosis, from prevention to care. The charity also funds and drives much of the UK’s scientific and medical research into thrombosis.

LINK – Thrombosis UK.

The Thrombosis UK website provides lots of fantastic resources to help patients to continue living well whilst suffering from the condition. The site is divided into a number of easy to understand sections, so that patients and healthcare providers can quickly find the information that they need. Patients can even use the site to find answers to the types of questions which could seem too trivial to ask the doctor, such as “Is it safe to shave or wax whilst taking anticoagulation medication?”.

Thrombosis UK also runs regular charity events to help to raise money to continue their research into thrombosis. If you wish to donate money towards reducing the risks of thrombosis across the UK, then you will find easy donation links on the website.

Thrombosis When Flying

Thrombosis is one of the dangers of long-haul flying. If you are going on a long haul flight in the near future then it is important that you understand the possible risks to your health. Although some people are more susceptible than others, thrombosis can affect anybody.

What is Thrombosis?

Thrombosis is the formation of blood clots within blood vessels. Clotting is a natural process which the body should perform in places where there is an injury. It should help to prevent blood loss and healing; however it can have serious consequences if the clots form in the wrong place.

A clot can slow or completely stop blood flow to the area. The consequences can be particularly severe if the clot blocks the flow of blood to a major organ. It is possible for a clot to dislodge from its original site and then travel to another location in the body.

Rad more about what is thrombosis here.

Why is thrombosis associated with air travel?

Although some people are more likely to suffer from thrombosis due to genetic factors, anyone can be affected by the condition. Diet, lifestyle and environmental factors can all increase a person’s likelihood of developing thrombosis. Air travel can create the “perfect storm” for thrombosis, especially for those who are predisposed to suffer from unnecessary clotting.

Those who travel in economy class seating are even more likely to develop problems, due to the cramped seating conditions. Low legroom seats force passengers to sit still for long periods in a position which can affect the blood flow. The way that this sort of seating bends the knees can make it very difficult for blood to flow freely. It compresses the popliteal vein in the back of the knees, which creates the perfect site for clot formation.

The atmospheric conditions on a plane also put people at an increased risk of clot formation. The lower cabin pressure in the plane actually affects the speed of the blood flow around the body. This is exacerbated by the lower oxygen levels and the lower levels of humidity (dry air) which are also associated with airplane cabins.

Is alcohol a contributing factor?

Many people enjoy a few drinks whilst they are on an airplane, because this helps them to feel more relaxed during the flight, however; drinking alcohol whilst flying can further increase the risk of developing a blood clot in fliers who are already susceptible. More alcohol in the blood affects they way that it clots. Similarly, fliers who fail to drink enough water during a flight may also be putting themselves at risk.

Do delays put passengers at higher risk?

Anything that forces air passengers to remain seated can increase the risks that they face. Flight delays which occur once the passenger is already on the plane can make passengers particularly susceptible. When planes are delayed on the tarmac, the flight crew often request that passengers remain seated so that the plane can be ready for takeoff at short notice. However, this increases the amount of time that passengers are required to spend in cramped conditions.

In order to protect passengers, airlines should allow passengers to remain free to move if they are aware that the flight delay is likely to be a significant one. Failure to do this may be considered to be a breach of the airlines duty of care to passengers who could then claim flight delay compensation.

Ways to reduce risk during air travel

Passengers can reduce the risks that they face during air travel by making certain changes whilst they are travelling. Loose, comfortable clothes for flying can help to reduce the likelihood that the blood flow will be altered due to constriction. Some airlines provide fliers with special flight socks when they are on long journeys. These special socks are designed to reduce the risks of DVT. Flight socks are also available from most high street pharmacies.

During the flight, travellers should make sure that they get up and move around at regular intervals. If it is not possible to stand up and walk around, then travellers should still try to engage in seated anti-DVT exercise. Simple ankle circles are a great way to help to keep the blood moving around the lower legs and feet. Leg raises which involve lifting and straightening the leg can help passengers to reduce the risks associated with keeping the knees bent. Rolling the shoulders whilst seated also helps to keep blood flowing in the upper body.

If you know that you are in a high risk group for DVT, you should consult with your doctor or specialist before taking any long haul flights. They may be able to provide special advice to help to reduce the risks. In some case, they may advise against flying. In these cases, travel insurance is unlikely to cover any medical costs if you still decides to take the trip.