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Blood clots

Blood clots can be very serious and need to be treated quickly. Staying healthy and active can help prevent them.

What a blood clot in a leg can look like

Picture of blood clot in left legPicture of blood clot in right leg

A blood clot in a leg is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Check if you're at risk of blood clots

Blood clots are rare in young, healthy people.

You're more likely to get them if you:

There are also other things that increase your risk of clots.

How to prevent blood clots

If you're at a high risk of blood clots – for example, you're in hospital – follow the advice of your care team about preventing clots.

This may involve wearing stockings that improve your blood flow or taking medicine to reduce the risk of clots (anticoagulants).

There are also things you can do to help avoid clots.

Do

  • stay active – even just taking regular walks can help

  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – you're more likely to get a clot if you're dehydrated

  • try to lose weight if you're overweight

  • wear flight stockings or flight socks to improve your blood flow on long flights – a pharmacist can advise you about this

Don't

  • do not sit for long periods without moving, if you can avoid it

  • do not drink lots of alcohol – this can make you dehydrated

  • do not smoke

Information:

Social care and support guide

If you:

  • need help with day-to-day living because of illness or disability
  • care for someone regularly because they're ill, elderly or disabled, including family members

Our guide to care and support explains your options and where you can get support.