What can I do to avoid getting a pulmonary embolism?
On this page we explain what you can do to avoid getting a pulmonary embolism.
The best way to prevent a pulmonary embolism is to try and stop blood clots forming in your veins. Read more about the risk factors for having a pulmonary embolism.
How to prevent blood clots
We can all reduce our risk of blood clotting by changing our habits to lead a healthier lifestyle:
- stopping smoking - if you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health
- getting regular exercise
- not sitting still for a long time – such as when watching TV or using a computer
- avoid becoming dehydrated
- maintaining a healthy weight, by eating a healthy balanced diet
How to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
As pulmonary embolism is often caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), it’s important to take steps to prevent DVT.
If you're being treated in hospital for another condition, your medical team will take steps to prevent you getting DVT. After surgery, you should move around or do leg exercises as soon as this is safe.
There are things you can do to prevent a travel-related DVT on long-haul journeys:
- wear loose, comfortable clothes
- do leg stretching exercises: bend and straighten your legs, feet and toes every 30 minutes when you’re sitting
- walk around whenever you can
- wear flight socks
- avoid dehydration
Should I wear compression stockings?
Compression stockings fit tightly round your lower legs and encourage your blood to flow more quickly around your body. You should wear them only if they are prescribed to you by a health care professional.
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.
How can I stop smoking?
Evidence suggests smokers are three times more likely to quit successfully if they use NHS support. Find out the different ways you can stop smoking and what to do when you’re ready to quit.