A 60-year-old woman from the U.K. has passed away from brain injuries related to a fall, the Daily Echo reports. The woman, identified as Elena Struthers-Gardner, was holding a cup with a 10-inch stainless steel metal straw fixed into place when she collapsed. The straw entered her left eye socket and pierced her brain.
The freak accident has called into question the safety of metal straws which have become more popular in recent years as companies and individuals move away from single-use plastic. Assistant coroner Brendan Allen told the Daily Echo that "great care should be taken taken when using these metal straws. There is no give in them at all." He continued:
If someone does fall on one and it’s pointed in the wrong direction, serious injury can occur. It seems to me these metal straw should not be used with any form of lid that holds them in place. It seems the main problem here is if the lid hadn’t been in place the straw would have moved away.
Elena was prone to falls after a riding accident that occurred when she was 21, the Daily Echo reports. While she was rushed to the hospital, she sadly died from traumatic brain injuries the following day.
Her wife, who found her in their kitchen and immediately called an ambulance, warns against anyone with mobility issues or children using these types of affixed straws. As an alternative, there are softer reusable silicone straws available. As Brendan said, metal straws that are not fixed in place are safer to use too.
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