Hypothermia cases almost double
Published on 13 February 2012 03:30 PM
A succession of cold winters paired with steep increases in the cost of energy bills has seen the number of older people dying from hypothermia almost double over the last five years.
According to figures from the NHS Information Centre, in 2006/7, 950 patients in the UK were treated in hospital for hypothermia. But this figure has now jumped to 1,876.
The number of sufferers who died within 30 days of being admitted to hospital rose to 260, from 135 five years ago.
The latest figures are revealed just as Britain is emerging from several days of Arctic conditions, which have seen temperatures in some parts of the country plummet as low as -10C.
The figures also showed that three-quarters of the victims of hypothermia are in the 60+ age bracket.
Certain campaign groups claim the fact people in Britain are suffering from hypothermia is 'scandalous'.
Michelle Mitchell of Age UK has urged the Government to take more action to protect those at risk of freezing to death.
'We like to think of ourselves as a civilised society which protects the most vulnerable,' she said.
'The fact that there are still older people who are suffering and dying of hypothermia is deeply shocking.'
Copyright Press Association 2012