When you spend long periods of time in a hospital bed, you may be at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis. This is a type of blood clot that forms in a vein, usually in the legs. You may be prone to developing this type of clot because of a blood clotting disorder or other condition. But these clots are also caused by lack of movement. If you keep your legs in the same position for long periods of time, you raise your risk for a clot. Fortunately, you can take some simple precautions to keep a clot from forming.
First, move your legs frequently. Don't sit still for extended periods. Don't sit with your legs crossed. While you are in your bed, tighten and release your leg muscles. If you can, get up and walk around every few hours. Stand on your toes and raise your heels off the floor. Then, stand on your heels and raise your toes. This helps keep the blood flowing through your legs.
You should also drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Avoid caffeine. Take any medications that you should be taking. If you are at a high risk for clots, you may have been prescribed a blood thinner. It's very important to take this medication as directed to keep a clot from forming.
You may be advised to wear tight socks called compression stockings. These help your circulation. They squeeze your legs to help blood move up through your veins and back to your heart. They keep blood from pooling in the veins of your legs. By following these simple steps, you can avoid deep vein thrombosis during your hospital stay.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.