dvt heparin injection for flying?

hi all, i came off warfarin last september after having a popliteal dvt following an operation on my lower leg, i get married in 4 weeks time an we are going to lanzarote for 3 weeks will i need the heparin injections for the 4.5 hour flight? i remember the nurse saying i should have them on all flights for the next 2 years does this rule still

apply?? also will the dr give me a letter explaining to the airline why i have them in my possesion?? any help would be great thank you in advance emma

8 Replies

  • emmalou81. I don't think that there is a set rule or formal guidelines for this but one subcutaneous injection of Dalteparin (sometimes brand named Clexaine or Fragmin) which is a low molecular weight version of Heparin, an hour or so before your flight and then similar before the return flight would be effective in significantly reducing the risk of DVT in flight. This should be coupled with wearing flight socks and keeping as much exercise going in your feet and ankles as possible in flight. Avoiding alcohol but keeping hydrated with other fluids is also important.

    You can easily inject it yourself once you have been shown how and you can pack your syringe for the return flight in you hold baggage on the way out so should have no customs difficulties. It is clearly medication from the packaging.

    You should get your GP to prescribe it and advise you as the dosage of Dalteparin will depend on your body weight.

    Well congratulations anyway and have a great honeymoon without worries of another DVT!!

  • thank you for the quick reply, i was self injecting last year so im ok with that! although im not on warfarin anymore and im still being monitored by my surgeon because of complications with the op, i still have the same throbbing pain and swelling i had when i found out i had dvt, could the clot still be there?? thanks

  • Emmalou. I am sorry but I'm not an expert on DVTs. As you have a history of DVT(s) then all that was said before holds true. I have heard of folk having ongoing discomfort after the DVT has dispersed but I guess that some may still remain or some long lasting damage was done to the blood vessel. Best to be on the safe side for the honeymoon flights and seek your GP's advice about this when you ask him/her for the Dalteparin.

  • My brother self injects with heparin for flights and carries the kit with him which includes a 'prescription letter'. He's never said he's had any problems.

  • i do a lot of flying and was told to inject myself with clexane for three days before a flight. i carry a letter from my doctor and keep them in my hand luggage and have had no problem. In fact, sometimes I forgot to take my letter and because of the packaging the needles are in, they have never had any problem letting me through with them!

  • thank you for your reply, hopefully evertthing will be ok and i wont have any issues, if you inject for 3 days before does it depend on what country you are travelling to or is that 3 dsys standard? thanks

  • I'm not sure tbh, that is just what they said, whenever I fly thats what I need to do! I always took long haul flights (about 11-12hrs) so maybe it was to do with that, I am not sure!

  • Emmalou. Please check it with your GP but I think that you will find that Dalteparin becomes effective very quickly, within a couple of hours, unlike Warfarin which takes quite a few days. It has a short half life however and remains effective for only up to 12 hours so those who are relying on it for longer term anticoagulation normally have to self inject twice per day.

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