TV exec dies from DVT at 29

by LIZ HULL, Daily Mail

A young TV executive collapsed and died from deep vein thrombosis after flying home from a skiing accident in Canada.

Sara Newman, 29, was recuperating following surgery on a broken leg when she had a fit in her flat, an inquest heard yesterday.

She was taken to hospital but failed to regain consciousness and the following day her family agreed for her life-support machine to be turned off.

Her organs were donated and have helped save the lives of four other people.

Miss Newman's boyfriend, David Williams, said last night that he had taken comfort in the fact that her death had helped others.

The couple, who had been together for nine years, flew to Canada for a two-week skiing holiday in February.

Miss Newman, a competent skier, fell from a chairlift, badly fracturing her left leg just below the knee.

The pair flew back to England and she was given blood-thinning drugs to prevent a clot occurring during the 11-hour flight.

A few days after arriving home, Miss Newman, who worked in public relations for the Discovery Channel and was last year nominated for PR professional of the year, was admitted to hospital for surgery.

Westminster Coroner's Court was told that an operation to insert a replacement piece of bone had been a success and a week later, on March 5, she was sent home on crutches.

Doctors decided to take her off the anti- clotting medication. The next morning she had a fit in the bathroom of her flat in Fulham, West London.

Mr Williams called paramedics but, by the time they arrived, Miss Newman had stopped breathing. They tried to resuscitate her before taking her to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Pathologist Dr Peter Wilkins told the inquest that Miss Newman died from a pulmonary embolism caused by DVT.

He said a post-mortem examination showed clotting in her uninjured right leg.

Although he found no clotting in the broken leg, Dr Wilkins said it was likely the fatal clot occurred in the left leg but came loose and travelled to her heart and lungs.

Dr Wilkins said clotting usually occurs because of a period of immobility, probably in this case as a result of the flight or Miss Newman's surgery and week-long stay in hospital.

Jonathan Lavelle, her consultant surgeon, said Miss Newman had been given the standard dose of the anticlotting drug and he felt there had been no need to test for thrombosis.

"She was struggling to get around on her crutches and that is why she stayed in hospital longer than normal," he added.

"In retrospect, one would have done all the potential tests to show if there was a clot, but in Sara's case, I did not feel there was any evidence to support that kind of investigation."

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: "This was a young woman living life to the full, going skiing and no one would have thought it would have ended in her death."

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