BUCHAREST – A Singaporean couple flying to Holland had their travel plans dramatically changed when the woman fell severely ill on the aircraft, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing in Romania.
The 28-year-old Singaporean, who was several weeks pregnant, was travelling with her husband to Amsterdam on a Royal Dutch Airlines flight, on Tuesday, for a holiday.
But their vacation turned sour 10 hours after take-off from Singapore, while they were flying over Russia.
The woman reportedly felt very sick and the pilots decided to land in Romania.
Mr Valentin Iordache, spokesman for Henri Coanda International Airport, told MediaCorp that at about 5.50am Romanian time, a message was sent to the airport to await an emergency medical landing there.
The aircraft landed at about 6.50am and a medical emergency team from the airport was activated.
The situation was dire as the woman had almost no pulse or blood pressure and was immediately rushed to Romania’s Elias Hospital.
Doctors discovered she was suffering from an extrauterine pregnancy, and had to remove part of her uterus to save her.
She is now clear of danger, and doctors say she will still be able to bear children.
Elias Hospital’s Dr Alexandru Filipescu said: “The patient is now feeling very well, as compared to the state of shock when she was brought in yesterday.”
Dr Lisa Wong, a private gynaecologist from Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, said that such conditions are also termed as ectopic pregnancies where the pregnancy occurs outside the womb.
She said: “It can be detected through an ultrasound scan in the early stages (7 to 12 weeks) of their pregnancy and can present as bleeding or abdominal pain. Patients are advised to undergo an operation early to remove the ectopic pregnancy, as they could result in severe bleeding leading to shock or even death.”
Patients can still become pregnant again as most of the time, only one or part of the fallopian tube containing the ectopic pregnancy is removed, said Dr Wong.
The woman’s husband, who did not want to be identified, said she underwent a medical scan before the trip and was assured she would be able to cope.
He said: “The scan showed that actually things were okay, so we actually did some preparation and precautions … It’s not a thorough check-up, but the pictures showed that it’s quite okay.”
He said they would stay in Romania for his wife to undergo medical observation, if necessary, and would be spending the holidays in Bucharest.