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.

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