Woman, 86, strangled to death by her medical alert necklace in 'freak accident' during a fall, coroner rules An 86-year-old woman from Pennsylvania died in a 'freak accident' when she fell and got her medical necklace caught on her walker, strangling her, a corner has ruled. Roseann J. DiFrancesco, a retired federal government worker from New Cumberland, was found dead inside her home on February 12 by a visiting nurse. Unable to get DiFrancesco to come to the door by knocking, the worker let herself in and made her way to the bathroom, where she found the body. It is unclear how long she had been dead. Roseann J. DiFrancesco, 86, a retired government worker from Pennsylvania, died after her medical alert necklace got caught on her walker after she fell, strangling her (file image) Coroner Charles Hall said the lanyard, which was not fitted with a breakaway feature, caused DiFrancesco's body to be suspended above the floor after she slipped and fell. The resulting pressure on her neck cut off the air and blood flow to her brain, causing her death, Hall said in a report seen by Pennlive.com. Hall said it is unclear whether the alert necklace was not fitted with a safety feature allowing it to detach to begin with, or if the lanyard was a replacement. While Hall called the death a 'freak accident', the Food and Drug Administration previously issued a warning about the dangers of medical alert lanyards. Between 1998 and 2009, the FDA said six people were killed or seriously injured by a lanyard made by electronics firm Philips which did not have a breakaway feature. Coroner Charles Hall, at the Cumberland Coroner's Office (pictured), said a nurse discovered DiFrancesco's body on February 12 in her bathroom after she failed to come to the door At the time Philips defended the product, saying the greater risk was that the button would detach unexpectedly, causing it to be out of reach when needed. The FDA wrote: 'These widely used devices provide critical and immediate access to emergency care for those at risk of falls or who may be more likely to need outside assistance. 'While the number of adverse events reported is small compared to the number of people who use this device, the severity of these events is of concern. 'It remains important that users, along with their health care providers, assess the options provided by each style of button, and choose the option that best fits their condition.' DiFrancesco is survived by her two sisters, Dolores D. Fitting and Juanita T. Roberts, and numerous nieces and nephews.