BOURNEMOUTH: A woman in the UK reportedly died after a metal drinking straw impaled her left eye and brain during a fall.
Elena Struthers-Gardner, 60, was carrying a mason-jar style glass with a 10-inch stainless steel straw in the middle of the screw top lid when she collapsed, reported the Daily Echo on Tuesday (Jul 9) citing a judicial inquiry.
The incident happened at her home in Broadstone village on Nov 22 last year, the report said. Struthers-Gardner was taken to a local hospital after her partner found her “lying on her front” and making “gurgling sounds” near the kitchen.
She died from traumatic brain injury the following day, the report added.
“I went to the kitchen door and could see Lena lying on her front at the doorway between the den and the kitchen,” the Daily Echo quoted a statement by her wife, Mandy Struthers-Gardner, that was read out by the coroner.
“Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar," it added.
“I noticed the straw was sticking into her head. I called 999 and requested an ambulance … I slid the glass off the straw and turned her over. I could see the straw had gone through her left eye.”
The deceased was a former jockey who had suffered from mobility difficulties after a riding accident when she was 21, the report said.
The accident also caused multiple fractures to her lumbar spine, making her prone to falling over or collapsing at random intervals, it added.
In a concluding statement, assistant coroner Brendan Allen said that the incident could have been avoided if the metal straw had not been used with the lid of the drinking jar.
“It seems to me these metal straw(s) should not be used with any form of lid that holds them in place,” the report quoted him as saying.
“It seems the main problem here is if the lid hadn’t been in place, the straw would have moved away.”
Metal straws have become popular in recent months as more countries seek to ban single-use plastics, including plastic straws.