Deep vein thrombosis (throm-BO-sis), or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Blood clots occur when blood thickens and clumps together. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. They also can occur in other parts of the body.
Sedentary jobs are bad for blood circulation, according to a Women’s Health feature on MSNBC, and few jobs are as sedentary as driving a truck long distances. This increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as blood clot.
A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus (EM-bo-lus). It can travel to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism (PULL-mun-ary EM-bo-lizm), or PE.
Doctors advise travelers who have to sit for long periods of time to frequently stop to walk around. This gets the blood flowing and reduces the risk of DVT, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Unfortunately, truck drivers cannot always afford to make frequent stops.
The condition usually occurs in the calves, where DVT blocks blood flow. If the clot moves through the bloodstream to the heart or lungs areas, it can be fatal.
Dallas truck driver Glen Kordisch explains that deep vein thrombosis feels like a sharp, stabbing pain. Pain often worsens when standing or walking, as the blood pours to the affected area. Other symptoms include swelling, redness and warmth in the affected leg, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Truck drivers should walk around every hour, if possible. They can also wear compression stockings that increase blood circulation. When DVT is diagnosed, heparin and warfarin are administered for several months until the clot dissolves.