LONDON: A 60-year-old woman in Britain got her eye pierced by a reusable metal straw which led to her death.
The victim whose name is Elena Struthers-Gardner had reportedly collapsed in the kitchen of her home in Dorset while she carries a mason-jar style drinking glass with a 10-inch stainless steel straw fixed onto the screw top lid.
The straw pierced through her left eye socket before entering her brain. This damaged her brain stem, which controls breathing.
The old woman suffered traumatic brain injury and eventually died from the fatal misadventure on November 2018.
It was reported that Elena (a retired jockey) had a history of mobility problems and was prone to falling over after sustaining multiple fractures in her spine. There was no evidence of alcohol in her urine sample, suggesting that intoxication was not a cause of her fall.
The metal drinking straws should be used with caution, and without lids that fix them in position, said by a coroner. Mrs Struthers-Gardners might have survived, if the lid was not present.
Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, who carried out an investigation into the death, said the case was very unusual.
“Medical staff had never seen an injury like that. They said it was unusual more than anything else,” he said. Metal straws have gained popularity in recent years, such as in Singapore where there is a push towards becoming a zero-waste nation. Companies and education institutions such as the National University of Singapore (NUS) have also launched initiatives to stop using plastic straws.