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Wednesday, 28 March, 2001, 00:36 GMT 01:36 UK
DVT victim's parents fight for inquiry
Interior of a plane
The illness has been linked with long-haul flights
The parents of a woman from south Wales who died after a long-haul flight are calling for a public inquiry into deaths from deep vein thrombosis.

Emma Christoffersen, 28, from Newport, collapsed and died minutes after flying back from from Australia.

On Wednesday her parents John and Ruth Christofferson will join MPs and medical experts at Westminster to demand an official government investigation into deaths caused by DVT - commonly known as "economy class syndrome".

Emma Christoffersen
Emma Christoffersen collapsed and died last October
Ms Christoffersen died minutes after a 20-hour flight in a cramped seating position.

She was pronounced dead at Ashford Hospital near Heathrow - where six other people have died of DVT in the six months since her death.

In the last year alone there have been four deaths in Wales from the same condition.

It is often linked to aircraft travel, particularly where passengers have had to travel in cramped conditions for long journeys.

Honeymooner

Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith recently raised the issue in parliament after the death of one of his constituents.

Policeman John Thomas, 30, from Cowbridge, near Cardiff, died last summer after returning from his honeymoon in Florida.

In January Mr Smith introduced a Private Member's Bill on the dangers of DVT, in a bid to highlight the risks.

He says the government should give in to this fresh plea for a public inquiry.

The power to launch an inquiry lies with Transport Minister Lord Macdonald. He has already had a summit with airlines to discuss passenger health.

Some airlines now give health advice to passengers taking long-haul flights.

Earlier this year, British Airways decided to provide passengers with leaflets advising on health - including dealing with the risk of fatal blood clots.

But the airline insisted the move had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding recent deaths.

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