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Student Who Leapt From Plane Was Suffering Psychotic Reaction From Anti-Malaria Drug

Student Who Leapt From Plane Was Suffering Psychotic Reaction From Anti-Malaria Drug

The Cambridge University student who fell 5,000 feet from a plane over Madagascar had taken an anti-malaria drug with 'virtually undocumented' side effects and suffered a psychotic reaction, a coroner's court was told.

Alana Cutland broke open the plane's door on 25 July 2019 and threw herself out after fighting off the pilot and another passenger who tried to save her from falling.

Alana Cutland. Credit: Shutterstock
Alana Cutland. Credit: Shutterstock

The 19-year-old from Milton Keynes had fallen ill during her trip to Madagascar so decided to return home to the UK.

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Alana, who was studying biological natural sciences, was away researching the rare blue crab before her illness set in.

According to MailOnline, senior coroner Tom Osborne said she 'suffered a psychotic/delirium event that led to her behaviour and death', adding it was 'quite apparent' that the reaction was caused by the drug.

He has now called for a review of the information sent out with anti-malaria drug doxycycline which Alana is believed to have taken.

Ruth Johnson (pictured) tried to help Alana. Credit: Shutterstock
Ruth Johnson (pictured) tried to help Alana. Credit: Shutterstock
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Mr Osborne told the hearing: "If she or her parents have been aware of this possible side-effect they may have been able to intervene earlier to avoid her death."

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Alana's parents, Neil and Alison Cutland, prepared a statement in which they said it was 'tragic' that her death was 'caused by the side effects of doxycycline.'

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They said: "We realise that such drugs have an important role to play, but it shocked us to discover that such a severe side effect could be virtually undocumented."

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it is now gathering 'further information' on the antibiotic. The MHRA did say that they had reviewed the 'suspected association between doxycycline and psychotic disorder' after the coroner's report and work was 'continuing'.

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Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Alana was due to stay on Madagascar for six weeks but cut is short after eight days. Her family rented a small plane to take her from the lodge to the international airport where she was due to fly to Paris and then on to London, according to the Midi-Madagasikara newspaper.

Just minutes into the flight however she opened the door and jumped out of the aircraft.

At the time of her death, Mr and Mrs Cutland issued a statement to the Foreign Office saying: "Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her.

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"She was always so kind and supportive to her family and friends, which resulted in her having a very special connection with a wide network of people from all walks of life, who we know will miss her dearly."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]