Vascular PRN

Woman Dies of Embolism After 12-Hour Flight


Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/18/2014 -- Due to a condition commonly caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a New Zealand woman died following a long-haul flight.

Gillian Browne, 65, of Dunedin, New Zealand, had just completed a 12-hour flight from Auckland to Los Angeles when she suffered a pulmonary thromboembolism – a blood clot that lodged in one of her lungs' main blood vessels. She was on her way to visit her youngest daughter in Hawaii.

Greg Grambor is president of Vascular PRN, a distributor of pneumatic compression therapy equipment for the prevention of DVT. “Pulmonary embolisms are often caused by deep vein thrombosis,” Grambor said, “and the risk of DVT is elevated by prolonged stationary sitting, such as one might experience on a long flight or car ride or even while working at a desk.”

After the plane arrived in Los Angeles, medical personnel performed CPR on Browne, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Lieutenant David Smith, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner, named pulmonary thromboembolism as the cause of death.

“The chances of any given blood clot causing an embolism are low,” Grambor said, “but pulmonary embolisms are very often fatal.”

Grambor said taking just a few precautions can significantly cut the risk of blood clots on long flights.

“You need to stay hydrated, and you need to stand up and walk around periodically. Those are the most important factors. If you can get a seat with more leg room, that's great. It also helps to rotate your ankles, flex your calf muscles -- anything that gets your blood flowing better through your legs.”

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