Risks of Injuries From Metal Straws

cartwrightlaw - October 17, 2022 -
Metal straws

With so many serious accidents, a metal straw is the last thing you would expect to be hurt.

But metal straws can cause more harm than we think. Since 2018, metal straws have been popular with people who want to save the environment. Metal straws have been seen as a great reusable alternative to plastic straws.

But there have also been accidents where children have been seriously injured from metal straws. One of the fatal incidents involved a 60-year-old woman who died from a brain injury caused by a metal straw. The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc., will fight for your right to compensation when injured by a dangerous product.


Dangers of metal straws

Many eco-friendly consumers like metal straws because of the material that they are made of. Metal straws are composed of elements like bamboo, metal, and glass. Even though these materials benefit the environment, they can cause serious injuries when they pierce through a person’s body.

If a metal straw penetrates your skull, you can experience serious brain injuries. The blow from a metal straw can cause your brain to bleed, bruise, or scar the brain tissue.


Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are injuries that are caused by blows to the head. The brain is significantly damaged when the head experiences a blow or penetration. Even a mild blow to the head can cause you to become dizzy for a few hours.

The impact on your head can cause your brain to experience swelling, skull fractures, and tearing of the blood vessels. When you have suffered a brain injury, your brain experiences temporary or permanent dysfunction, and your cognitive abilities will be affected forever.


Internal bleeding

Internal injuries are injuries that happen beneath your skin and muscles. These are the injuries that often go unnoticed. When your organ’s functions become impaired, that indicates organ damage. Internal organ damage can happen when you have experienced internal bleeding.

Internal bleeding is likely to happen when your internal organs have suffered blunt force or penetrating trauma. Blunt trauma can cause your blood vessels to rupture, causing serious injury to your organs.

If internal bleeding goes untreated for a long time, it can cause your organs to fail and lead to external bleeding. In dire cases, you can slip into a coma.


Who is Elena Struthers?

Elena Struthers was a 60-year-old British woman impaled by a metal straw while in her home. When Struthers fell, the 10-inch metal straw impaled her eye, leading to a serious traumatic brain injury. She died from her brain injury in November 2019.


Who is Charlie DeFraia?

Charlie DeFraia is another victim of a metal straw accident. When he was four years old, he almost died when a metal straw punctured his internal carotid artery. He fell off the porch ledge in his home while drinking a yogurt drink from a metal straw.

When he fell, the metal straw pierced his tongue and throat. The metal straw pierced through his throat and caused serious injury to his right carotid artery, just behind his jaw. DeFraia’s internal carotid artery suffered a hemorrhage, and he had to be transferred to the hospital for blood loss.

Fortunately, the physicians used stents to stop the bleeding and restore blood flow to his brain. After being in a medically induced coma for a week, DeFraia was able to recover.


Children’s accidents from Starbucks straws

If you are a consumer of Starbucks, the metal straw issue shouldn’t be news. In 2016, Starbucks had to recall 2.5 million metal straws for the harm they were causing children. There were three reports in Canada of children being hurt from mouth lacerations caused by the straws. The common denominator with metal straws is the danger they cause when impaled through a person’s brain.

child using metal straw, metal straws not safe for children


Other dangers with metal straws

Aside from traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding, metal straws can cause serious harm by exposing you to bacteria. Metal straws are known for housing mold and bacteria from different food particles. These food particles can remain in the straw even after being rinsed. Many mistake only cleaning metal straws through a dishwasher or running water through them. Metal straws are supposed to be cleaned with a long brush and soaked.


How to prevent injuries from metal straws

Don’t let the numbers fool you. Even though there are a small number of metal straw accidents, they are still deadly. If they don’t lead to death from being impaled on, they can cause you to experience serious injuries. Here are some ways that you can prevent a metal straw accident from happening.


Avoid using lids

Lids help keep metal straws in place and prevent them from moving freely. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous when the metal straw is placed near your head. Instead of using a lid to keep the straw in place, allow the metal straw to move freely. In case you trip and fall, there is less risk that the straw will poke you and impale through your eye.

Avoid using metal straws while you’re moving

Even though it’s ideal, you are more likely to be hurt by a metal straw while moving around. Avoid using a metal straw while you are in motion at any time. No matter how convenient, it’s not worth the risk of getting a brain injury or being pierced through the throat.

Avoid giving metal straws to your children

As a parent, never give your children metal straws to use. Like you, your children are at risk of running and seriously hurting by a metal straw – maybe even more. Keeping metal straws out of your child’s reach is the best way to prevent any metal straw accident.


Schedule a consultation with our experienced team

When a metal straw has hurt you or your child, reach out to our experienced team at The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc. Our attorneys will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.


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