Are you a patient? Visit our dedicated patient website
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot which forms in the veins in the calf. A DVT is not dangerous in itself, but complications arising from it can be.
Complications occur when the clot breaks away from the vein wall and is carried along with the flow of blood. If the clot reaches a blood vessel which is too narrow for it to pass through, it forms a blockage. If this happens in the lungs it can be life threatening.
Clots can be present without signs or symptoms, but often cause swelling and pain.
The wearing of compression hosiery has been shown to reduce the risk of a DVT developing. It is important to begin wearing hosiery at the start of a journey and for as long as it is practical at the end.
If you are on a plane try and walk about, drink lots of fluids avoiding alcohol and do simple leg exercises like rotating your ankles and flexing your feet. This helps blood flow up your legs to help prevent clotting.
If you are at low risk of a DVT, as you are not in any of the groups above, an Activa® British Standard Class 1 sock would be appropriate.
If you have had a DVT, the damage to your veins can make you more likely to suffer with non-healing wounds (leg ulcers) or swelling.
It is important that you talk to your nurse or GP who may recommend you wear compression hosiery as a preventative measure.