Among the trending news items this week is the tale of a freak accident that took the life of a French model and aspiring social media star.

From the Daily Mail:

A French fitness blogger has been killed by an exploding whipped cream dispenser which hit her in the chest, giving her a heart attack.

Rebecca Burger’s family announced her death on social media, where she has amassed a following of more than 200,000 with her fitness focused posts.

They said the 33-year-old died as the result of a ‘domestic accident’ at her home in eastern France, and later shared a photograph of the dispenser which killed her.

In their post, the family explained how it exploded and flying parts of it hit the young model’s thorax.

The cause of Burger’s death is commotio cordis, which occurs when a blunt object strikes the chest and causes cardiac arrest. Sadly, it is a leading cause of death in young people.

Relatively recent data from the registry of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation show that commotio cordis is one of the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes, exceeded only by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and congenital cornoary artery abnormalities.

Commotio cordis typically involves young, predominantly male, athletes in whom a sudden, blunt, nonpenetrating and innocuous-appearing trauma to the anterior chest results in cardiac arrest and sudden death from ventricular fibrillation. The rate of successful resuscitation remains relatively low but is improving slowly.

Although commotio cordis usually involves impact from a baseball, it has also been reported during hockey, softball, lacrosse, karate, and other sports activities in which a relatively hard and compact projectile or bodily contact caused impact to the person’s precordium. While only 216 instances have been reported to the US Commotio Cordis Registry (as of 2012), this is probably a considerable underestimation of its true incidence since this entity still goes unrecognized in many instances and continues to be underreported.

Apparently, it had been known for some time that the whipped cream dispenser was a safety hazard.

…Consumer magazine 60 Million Consumers reported that the victim was hit violently in the chest by the exploding canister, and said that led to a heart attack. The magazine said it had been warning for years of such risks after dozens of incidents, but this was apparently the first death reported.

The manufacturer of the kitchen product, Ard’time, said the product has not been on the market since a “first incident implicating a siphon” in February 2013. Products were withdrawn from the market and destroyed, a company statement said, and other efforts made to alert consumers.

“Unfortunately, there are still lots of siphons of all brands that remain potentially dangerous as time passes,” the company said.

The consumer magazine said that incidents have been occurring since at least 2010. “We are up to 60 accidents” that have been reported, said the deputy editor of 60 Million Consumers.

“It is, to our knowledge, the first time there has been a death from such an explosion. … We knew it would happen one day,” Benjamin Douriez said by telephone.

There had been other, serious incidents prior to this fatality:

In 2013, one victim of an exploding cream dispenser told RTL radio: “I had six broken ribs, and my sternum was broken.

“At the hospital, I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now.”

…At least one manufacturer issued a product recall – but a year after that recall, only 25,000 were returned out of 160,000 sold, Le Parisien reported.

According to reports in France, the victim’s brother has announced that the family will sue the company that made the dispenser.