Flight passenger dies of blood clot

COLOMBO: A Cathay Pacific flight was diverted to Sri Lanka yesterday to seek emergency medical help for a Japanese woman who was declared dead on arrival in hospital after suffering a blood clot, officials said. 

The 36-year-old woman was taken to a hospital near Sri Lanka's international airport where doctors pronounced her dead, coroner Basil Tissera said. 

“I have returned a verdict of death due to natural causes,” Tissera said. 

He said an autopsy performed at the Negombo hospital, north of the capital, found the woman had suffered a blood clot in her lungs or a “pulmonary thrombo-embolism.” 

The woman, identified by medical officials as Mihoko Goto, was travelling with her husband on a direct flight from Hong Kong to Johannesburg when she was taken ill. 

Cathay Pacific country manager Ed Higgs said flight CX 749 declared a medical emergency and landed here. 

“We also sent a Japanese-speaking member of the cabin crew to help,” Higgs said. “Cabin crew had tried to resuscitate in-flight by also seeking medical advice through our medi-link (to ground-based medical support system).” 

He said the airline would help the husband take the body back if he so wished. 

Higgs said privacy laws in Hong Kong where the airline is based prevented the airline giving details of the couple. 

Doctors said they did not know the reason for the blood clot but could not rule out deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Popularly dubbed the “economy class syndrome,” DVT is characterised by the formation of a blood clot in a vein, usually in the leg. – AFP  

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