Deep Vein Thrombosis and the Workplace

by Yandee Vazquez, Head Editor, INALJ Texas

Deep Vein Thrombosis and the Workplace

yandeevThis is a bit of a public service announcement on a topic that is rarely mentioned but can be pertinent to us: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). This is a condition where a clot forms in a deep vein in the body, generally the legs, and, if it breaks off, can block blood flow to the lungs, brain or other vital organs.

I bring this up because of the fairly sedentary nature of our work. As information professionals we spend a lot of time sitting down: in front of computers, working with patrons, during meetings. Even those that aren’t employed can face this problem as the nature of job hunting is often centered around sitting at a computer.

If you:

  • sit for long periods of time,
  • have had an injury or surgery,
  • are pregnant or have given birth in the last 6 months,
  • take hormonal birth control,
  • smoke,
  • are overweight or obese,
  • are older than 60 (though clots can happen at any age),
  • are a taller man, 

then you may have a higher risk of developing DVT.

How to help prevent DVT? Move whenever possible. Stretch out your calves in your seat if you can’t stand. Get up for a minute or two and straighten out a few shelves, or see if a patron needs help. Simply moving can help prevent DVT.

I don’t bring this up to be alarmist, but in the hope that something simple will help us improve our quality of life.

You can learn more about DVT from the Mayo Clinic and Medline Plus.

  2 comments for “Deep Vein Thrombosis and the Workplace

  1. Rebecca
    October 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I was diagnosed with DVT last year during my last semester at grad school. Although inactivity can be a cause, there are other reasons why you may develop it. However, the tips suggested in the article are spot-on and I would suggest that everyone keeps them in mind while working at a computer all day. Thankfully, my DVT was caught in my right calf, the best place to catch it. I was put on blood thinners for a few months and now am doing much better.

  2. October 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Four years ago I had a DVT that moved to both my lungs. I was very lucky that my doctor caught in time and I was put in the hospital before it killed me. I now have to wear a support stocking on my right leg because of the vein damage. My lungs took about two years to completely heal from the damage the clots caused.

    I highly suggest, if possible, that you stand as much as possible throughout the day. I have set up a desk area on one of our processing tables. It is counter high and I do most of my desk work from there. DVT’s can happen to anyone.

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