What can I do to avoid getting a pulmonary embolism?
There are a number of ways you can help to prevent a pulmonary embolism.
Take anticoagulant medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
Wear compression stockings if recommended by your health care professional. These fit tightly round your lower legs and encourage your blood to flow more quickly around your body.
- After surgery, move around or do leg exercises as soon as you can.
- On long-haul flights and other long journeys, do leg stretching exercises: bend and straighten your legs, feet and toes every 30 minutes when you’re sitting. Stand up and walk around when you can. Do some deep breathing. It also helps if you drink water regularly. Wear flight socks.
- If you’re at risk of developing blood clots, consult your health care professional before travelling long distances.
Changing your habits
We can all reduce our risk of having a pulmonary embolism by changing our habits. For example:
- not smoking
- getting regular exercise – at least 150 minutes a week
- not sitting still for a long time – such as when we’re watching tv or using a computer. Take an active break every 30 minutes or so.
- eating a healthy balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables
- keeping a healthy weight
Stopping smoking is particularly important in preventing a possible pulmonary embolism.
More information and support
Our friendly helpline are dedicated to answering your questions. Give them a call on 03000 030 555.
Why is being active important for me?
If you have a lung condition, being active and exercising can help you to improve your breathing, your fitness and your quality of life.
Keeping active changed my life
Ann's COPD has improved dramatically since she joined an exercise class.