How Pie Prevents Blood Clots
Medical Author: Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FAAEM
Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
This weekend, as I drove the 5 hours to the north Wisconsin woods, I reminded myself of advice I give to my patients: remember to get out of the car and move around. It's also why, buried deep in the recesses of the in flight magazine, somewhere between the movie grid and the duty free opportunities, hides a warning that staying still in an airplane seat for a prolonged time can cause blood clots. And while the magazine recommends moving around the cabin and stretching, the flight attendants tend to want to keep you in your seat.
Blood does wonderful things like carrying oxygen, cleaning waste products, and delivering cells and chemicals to fight infection. But mess up its environment and blood can cause all sorts of problems. Blood cells get pushed by the heart to the far recesses of the body, but returns from the fingers, toes, arms and legs in veins that are milked by the routine contractions of the muscles that surround them. As you walk, blood gets pushed back to the heart; as you type, the muscles of your fingers and hands do the work to get the blood back.
Without that muscle movement, blood stagnates and has a tendency to clot...