COLOMBO: A Cathay Pacific flight was diverted to Sri Lanka on Friday to seek emergency medical help for a Japanese woman who was declared dead on arrival in a hospital after suffering a blood clot, officials said.
The 36-year-old woman was rushed to the Negombo base hospital near Sri Lanka's only international airport where doctors pronounced her dead, coroner Basil Tissera said.
He said an autopsy performed at the hospital, 45 kilometres (28 miles) 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 the aircraft declared a medical emergency and landed in Colombo.
He said he had no immediate details of the victim.
Doctors said they did not know the reason for the blood clot but said they could not rule out deep vein thrombosis or DVT which is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg.
It is rare event but doctors say there is particular risk with air travel because inactivity and dehydration aboard planes make the blood stickier.
The most common major complication is a pulmonary embolism which occurs when a part of the clot travels to the lung where it causes breathing problems. - AFP