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Doctor Says Long-Distance Travelers At Risk For Blood Clots

DETROIT (WWJ) - With vacationers driving long distances to reach their destinations, there comes the risk of health problems for those who don't take breaks.

Local cardiologist Dr. Mazen Shoukfeh said he sees an annual increase in patients with blood clots in their legs during car travel season at his practice at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. One patient, he said, had a traumatic experience on the trip home from Florida – deep vein thrombosis, or a blood clot, in the leg.

"Right in the middle of the road she developed severe unilateral pain and swelling," Shoukfeh said. "Thank God she went to an emergency room."

Shoukfeh said about 30 percent of such blood clots will travel to the lungs, with 30 percent of those cases being fatal. Those at the most risk include elderly people, those who are overweight, smokers and women taking birth control pills.

To avoid potential health issues, Shoukfeh said travelers should stop and walk around for at least five minutes every two hours on long trips to keep circulation normal.

Get more information about heart and vascular health from Beaumont at this link.

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