Metal drinking straw impales United Kingdom woman’s brain, killing her


Elena Struthers-Gardner died after collapsing on a 10-inch stainless steel straw she had stuck in a screw-top lid on a Mason jar-style drinking glass at her home in Poole, Dorset, on November 22, reports the Daily Echo.

Mandy said the emergency operator told her to turn her wife over, which is when she noticed the 10-inch metal straw had impaled Struthers-Gardner through the eye and eyelid.

The coroner warned on Monday that reusable, eco-friendly metal straws should be used with "great care" and never in a way that fixes them in place, according to the British newspaper.

Metal straws have grown in popularity in recent years, with growing consciousness of plastic waste and a focus on cutting use of single-use plastics.

Her wife, Mandy, found her partner lying in a doorway between the kitchen and living room, according to The Sun. She was making unusual sounds. Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar. "I called 999 and requested an ambulance", she said.

"While I was on the phone, Lena appeared to have stopped breathing". It was only after she was turned over that the wife saw the straw had pierced her eye - and that it was still attached to the drinking jar.

The hearing heard that the metal straw had pierced her head with such force, it had only come to a stop when it hit the back of her skull.

Medical staff had never seen such an injury caused by a metal straw.

In our rush to reduce the harm caused by straws, we must not forget those who use them out of necessity, not convenience: people with disabilities.

Mrs Struthers-Gardner's life support was switched off, and she died the next day.

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Following a reduction in her high levels of fentanyl pain medication, she had become alcohol dependent.

On the day she died, there was no booze in her system.

It caused multiple fractures on her spine and caused scoliosis, which left her prone to falling, according to The Daily Echo.

At the conclusion of an investigation on Monday, a United Kingdom coroner's office warned about the potential dangers of using fixed metal straws for people with mobility challenges after a disabled woman died from a traumatic brain injury caused by a metal straw.

Elena Struthers-Gardner suffered catastrophic brain damage in the freak accident at her home.

He said: "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".

The metal straw movement looks to cut down on the number of plastic straws that end up in the ocean, where they pose a danger to animals like sea turtles.

He said: 'Clearly great care should be taken when using these metal straws. 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'.

'It seems to me these metal straw should not be used with any form of lid that holds them in place.