Many people believe that taking an Aspirin before going on a long haul flight will reduce the risk of DVTs - This is False.
Blood clots arise due to thrombisus anywhere in the arterial or venous circulation. Heart attacks and strokes occur due to blood clots in the arterial circulation, where as DVTs occur in the venous circulation.
Blood clots are composed of two components: a protien called Fibrin and particles called Platelets. Platelets aggregate together like a mess and Fibrin acts like glue to hold it all together to form a clot.
Aspirin interferes with Platelet aggregation by irreversibly inhibiting Thromboxane A2, which makes it useful in preventing arterial clots. However Aspirin does NOT interfere with Platelet aggregation mediated by Thrombin (in the venous system) explaining why it is not effective in preventing DVTs.
DVT risk on flights can be reduced by wearing compression stockings and walking up and down the aisle for 10 minutes every hour.
Article written by Dr Kemp and featured in the Experts - Brisbane Style Magazine October Edition.