Planning a trip abroad?
Practice Nurses are trained to give general travel health advice and immunisations. We also offer immunisations to people not registered at the practice. These include yellow fever (we are a recognised Yellow Fever Centre), typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies and encephalitis.
We would advise you to contact Reception as soon as your plans are known. The Receptionists will arrange for you to be given up to date information and let you know the procedure to follow. Alternatively, you can download our Travel Form. Complete the form and hand in at reception as soon as possible.
You can also find out reliable, up to date health information specific to your destination, including what immunisations you might need and malaria advice using the excellent Travel Health website. It also features Foreign Office advice about trouble spots.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Many people are worried and perhaps a bit confused about the risk of what has come to be known as “Traveller’s thrombosis” following much media attention to the link between flying and the development of blood clots in the veins of the calves.
This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and is potentially serious because part of the clot may break off and travel to the lungs. This is called pulmonary embolism, and is occasionally fatal.
The condition is most commonly associated with long haul flights, arbitrarily defined as flights over 4 hours, and is thought to be more likely because passengers are immobile for long periods of time and may become dehydrated. Also, blood flow through the veins is impeded by pressure from the edge of the seat.
Who is at risk of DVT?
The following is a list of some of the more common risk factors:
- Age over 60
- Varicose Veins
- Medication containing oestrogen (HRT or the combined contraceptive)
- Pregnancy or the first two post-natal months
- Recent surgery
- Previous history of thrombosis
- Some heart and lung conditions
What should I do?
People with 0-1 risk factors are at low risk of developing a DVT. Current advice is to stay well hydrated with plenty of soft drinks, avoid alcohol and exercise your calves at regular intervals, preferably by getting up and walking around.
People with a couple of risk factors should follow the above advice and also consider buying a pair of below-knee compression stockings. These are available cheaply from the chemist. Some doctors suggest taking an aspirin before flying too, but his may not be safe for some patients (examples are those with sensitivity to aspirin, people with indigestion or stomach problems, or asthmatics).
People with many risk factors should consult their doctor before traveling.