How do I prevent pulmonary embolism?

  • Exercise regularly. If you can’t walk around due to bed rest, recovery from surgery or extended travel, move your arms, legs and feet for a few minutes each hour. If you know you will need to sit or stand for long periods, wear compression stockings to encourage blood flow.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, like water and juice, but avoid excess alcohol and caffeine.
  • If you need to be stationary for long periods of time, move around for a few minutes each hour: move your feet and legs, bend your knees, and stand on tip-toe.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Avoid crossing your legs.
  • Do not wear tight-fitting clothing.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Elevate your feet for 30 minutes twice a day.
  • Talk to your doctor about reducing your risk factors, especially if you or any of your family members have experienced a blood clot.

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