To lower the risk of blood clots:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Avoid sitting or lying in bed for long periods of time
  • Sit with both legs on the floor (uncrossed)
  • Maintain balance between activity and rest
  • Keep a healthy, regular and stable dietary intake
  • Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water everyday

In patients or situations where the risk of having a blood clot is high (for example, after major surgery or admission to hospital for an acute medical problem), your doctor will usually prescribe an anticoagulant to help reduce the risk of blood clots. Because the anticoagulant prevents blood from clotting quickly, it can sometimes increase the risk of bleeding. Your doctor will make a decision if an anticoagulant is needed in these situation after weighing the risk of clotting versus the risk of bleeding.

Preventing a recurrence

Here are some tips for preventing future blood clots:

  • Continue seeing your family physician for follow-up visits to monitor your condition.
  • Long term anticoagulation medication may be required.
  • Compression stockings, sometimes called elastic stockings, can help reduce long-term calf pain and swelling, and lower the risk of skin ulcers developing at the site of the blood clot. Many patients find that below-knee stockings are easier to wear than full-length ones. Compression stockings should:
    • Be professionally fitted.
    • Be worn all day, every day for at least two years after a DVT
    • Be removed before you go to bed, or in the evening when resting with your legs raised.

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