Dangers of metal straws: Coroners' warning after woman impaled, dies

Metal straw.
Metal straw. Photo credit: Getty.

A British coroner is warning of the dangers of metal straws following a woman dying after a straw impaled her eye and caused a brain injury.

According to The Telegraph, Elena Struthers-Gardner was carrying a mason-jar style glass with a screw-top lid in her Dorset kitchen when she fell and her left eye was impaled by the 10-inch stainless steel straw in the glass.

The straw struck her brain stem and hit the back of her skull causing a traumatic brain injury. She died in hospital the next day.

At an inquest in Bournemouth on Tuesday (NZ Time), coroner Brendan Allen warned against lodging metal straws into lids that fix them in place.

"Clearly great care should be taken when using these metal straws," Allen said.

"There is no give in them at all. If someone does fall on one and it's pointed in the wrong direction, serious injury can occur."

Elena's wife, Mandy, agreed the straws could be dangerous.

"I just feel that in the hands of mobility challenged people like Elena, or children, or even able-bodied people losing their footing, these things are so long and very strong.

"Even if they don't end a life they can be very dangerous."

Elena had been prone to falling over due to injuries she sustained in an accident when she was a jockey.


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