Keeping warm is key to staying well in winter

Keeping warm is key to staying healthy in winter

With the sudden arrival of snow and ice, temperatures across Herefordshire have plunged and local GPs have advised vulnerable patients stay in and turn up their thermostats to help them stay healthy during the cold spell.

The onset of cold always brings a heightened incidence of heart attacks, strokes and respiratory infections which can last for some time after the colder weather has set in.

Patients who are elderly, frail, or have pre-existing conditions are therefore advised to keep warm, both indoors and out. They should heat their homes to at least 18C. They are also advised to get flu jabs if they haven’t already.

Dr Ian Tait, Herefordshire GP and Clinical Chair of Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Heart attacks increase almost immediately after a cold snap and nationally account for two out of every five extra deaths we get during winter and more people are admitted to hospital with heart conditions in the cold. Hospitals also see a rise in the admission of stroke patients five days after the cold weather begins.

“It’s therefore important that anyone who is more vulnerable should try and stay warm to minimise the impact of the cold weather.

“We would also like to urge the fitter members of the community to keep an eye out for their elderly or frail neighbours and offer practical help such as fetching shopping.”

More information about how the public can stay healthy during winter can be found on NHS Choices website.