I slept the whole way on the plane from London to Australia… two days later my leg started burning and swelling. This is my warning to all travelers

A young woman has issued a warning about the importance of wearing compression socks and moving around on long-haul flights after developing a dangerous blood clot in her left leg.

Lois Chitticks, 26, was excited to move from London to Australia and slept through most of the 20-hour flight on December 31.

Two days after her arrival, her left calf became swollen, «warm» and felt as if she had «pulled a muscle».

«It felt hotter than the other leg and it bothered me so much I couldn’t sleep,» Lois told FEMAIL, describing the sensation as a ‘marble’ in her calf.

But she had a hunch that the irritation was caused by an ominous 4cm blood clot.

Lois Chitticks, 26, was left with a 4cm blood clot on her left leg because she didn’t wear compression socks and didn’t move around enough during the long flight to Australia.

Two days after the flight, her left calf was swollen, «warm» and felt like she had «pulled a muscle» (Lois pictured left with her flight partner)

Lois’s legs pictured: Blood clots aren’t always visible from the surface, so seeing a doctor is essential if symptoms persist. The likelihood of blood clots is higher after a flight due to the long period of immobility and reduced air pressure

The likelihood of blood clots is higher after a flight due to the long period of immobility and reduced air pressure. The risk is increased in those who have circulatory problems, smoke, have a family history and/or take certain medications.

“I didn’t actually get up during the flight because I was so comfortable in the aisle seat. At the end of both flights, I got up once to use the toilet – other than that I just slept the whole time,” she said.

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While her father warned her to move often and gave her compression socks, she ignored his advice.

«I regret it immensely now,» she added.

After being taken to the hospital, a blood test and ultrasound confirmed that he had a 4cm deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Because she is young and healthy, the doctors advised her to wait for the clot to dissolve on its own. However, it will require inspections over the next few months.

“They said it was a big DVT and I would have to watch myself for the next three to six months. Now I will be prone to them in the future and will also have to wear compression socks,” she said.

“If the DVT doesn’t go away or moves, I’ll have to take blood thinners for up to a year.

“I’m worried that it might move or that I’ll be prone to them later in life. I also feel stupid because I should have gotten up a few times!”

Lois said the DVT was more «pain than pain», which is worrying as the clot could have gone undetected if she hadn’t gone to hospital.

Because she is young and healthy, doctors recommend waiting for the clot to dissolve on its own, and she will require follow-ups over the next few months. “I’m worried that it might move or that I’ll be prone to them later in life. I feel stupid too because I should have stood up a few times!” she said


A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel or semi-solid state.

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A blood clot in the leg or arm can have a variety of symptoms, including: swelling pain tenderness feeling warm redness

Blood clots can form anywhere in the body and cause serious problems. But when they occur in the heart, clots can cut off critical blood flow and lead to a heart attack

Blood clots that develop in the abdomen can target different organs, so symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain abdominal pain that comes and goes nausea vomiting bloody stools diarrhea bloating or swelling in the abdomen a buildup of abdominal fluid, known as ascites

Treatment for a blood clot will depend on its location.

One treatment for blood clots is anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners). These drugs prevent blood clots from getting bigger and prevent new clots from forming.

Sources: Healthline and Health Direct

To alert others, Lois shared her experience in a now-viral TikTok video, outlining her symptoms.

«Girl, I’m amazed you managed to sleep that long,» one person commented, while another said: «At least you hit the Australian health system.»

«Oh god I’m so sorry… I hope you’re ok,» wrote a third.

Others admitted that they had made the same mistake before by not moving regularly on long flights.

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