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Why deep vein thrombosis can be a threat to your business

15/03/2019

Deep vein thrombosis blood clot

We know that as a business owner, finding and keeping the best employees is a top priority. Also, that when staff are off sick, especially for a hefty chunk of time, what a negative impact that can have. It can leave your business and your bottom line looking pretty sickly too.

So, as prevention is always better than cure, what can you do about it?

The bad news is, you can’t prevent your staff from getting ill. Not much is going to stop a sickness bug or a nasty cold from spreading through your workforce.

What you can do, however, is to anticipate what health issues might affect people in your workplace. That way, you can play a part in stopping potential ill-health in its tracks. Crucial, also, is to put measures in place to support staff if the worst happens.

With that in mind, something to be aware of as a potential threat is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) ­– a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg.

Signs of deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis symptoms include redness, swelling and pain, usually in one leg only. But if left untreated, a clot can break free and travel to the heart and lungs, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Worryingly, what’s become clear recently, is that this deadly condition doesn’t only affect the elderly and those who fly regularly. In fact, one in 1000 in the UK population can expect to be affected by it.

Some pre-existing medical conditions, certain prescription drugs and dehydration can increase your risk. But one of the main deep vein thrombosis causes is long periods of inactivity. And that means all the people you employ who sit at their desks for hours every day. Maybe you, too.

Why do I need to know all this vein thrombosis stuff?

A simple but effective tactic is to encourage them to move regularly – preferably every 90 minutes, to keep the blood flowing.
Maybe encourage staff to set a regular alert on their phones or PC.

Because your staff are your business’ lifeblood. And if you do have employees who sit immobile for an extended time, perhaps staring at computers, the reality is that they’re at risk of deep vein thrombosis.

If left untreated, it’s estimated that one in 10 people with a DVT will then go on to develop a pulmonary embolism (PE), when the clot breaks free from the vein wall and travels. If it reaches the lungs, it can block the blood supply, leading to potentially fatal heart failure.

What can you do to help protect your employees?

Also prompt everyone to drink plenty of fluids, since dehydration can make your blood ‘stickier’ and more likely to clot. A water cooler somewhere in the workplace serves as a good visual reminder.

Reviewing your office furniture is another way of discouraging staff from being too sedentary. Certain types of desk offer the flexibility to either sit or stand as you work. Even such a small change in habits can help people protect themselves from potentially life-threatening conditions.

Another positive thing you can do is to think about offering staff a health insurance plan like Equipsme. It helps them feel valued, while offering practical solutions like 24-hour GP access, expert diagnosis and speedy treatment…not forgetting the access to physio and stress support.

Where deep vein thrombosis is concerned, the quicker the diagnosis, the better the likely outcome. A package like Equipsme can help.

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