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Metal Straw Impales Woman’s Brain in Freak Accident

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With the increasing talk about banning single-use plastic, specifically straws, there have been several options popping up for alternatives. However, after a 60-year-old woman died as a result of a freak accident with a metal straw, her example has become a cautionary tale.

According to British media, Elena Struthers-Gardner was holding a “Mason jar-style drinking glass” when she dropped to the floor in her kitchen, falling forward onto the metal straw. It impaled her left eye, penetrating her brain. Mandy Struthers-Gardner, Elena’s wife, stated, “I went to the kitchen door and could see Lena lying on her front at the doorway between the den and the kitchen. She was making unusual gurgling sounds. Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar. I noticed the straw was sticking into her head. I called 999 and requested an ambulance.”

Metal Straw Impales Woman’s Brain in Freak Accident

Photo: Pexels

Although the emergency team rushed Struthers-Gardner to a nearby hospital, her injuries were fatal. Despite the fact that the cause of her collapse wasn’t determined, the official cause of death in this instance was labeled as a traumatic brain injury. Elena had suffered injuries from a horse incident in her early 20s, which resulted in her falling now and then. “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,” Mandy stated. “Even if they don’t end a life they can be very dangerous.” The local coroner’s office agreed. “Clearly great care should be taken when using these metal straws,” the coroner noted. “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 the main problem here is if the lid hadn’t been in place the straw would have moved away.”

Metal Straw Impales Woman’s Brain in Freak Accident

Photo: Pixabay

With the popularity of plastic straw bans, including some places here in Texas, there’s a need for alternatives. However, this tragedy is being seen by many as a cause for rethinking metal straws. What do you think? Are metal straws still a viable option, do you prefer paper, or are you still holding onto your plastic straws?