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The Tragic Side To The Current Cold Snap

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bit of very sad and tragic news.

A 35-year-old man has died on Lewis after being found unconscious outdoors in sub-zero temperatures.

Donald Martin was found in the back garden of his house in Kennedy Terrace, Stornoway, at 1300 GMT on Saturday.

The 35-year-old was in a very serious condition and was taken to the high dependency unit at Western Isles Hospital. He died later that evening.

It is understood Mr Martin was last seen returning home from a Christmas works night out in Stornoway.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out to establish the cause of death.

A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8425781.stm

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If this story is accurate then it is my guess that as many as 75,000 Britons will freeze to death this winter. In an average year it's between 35,000 and 50,000. You see, the poor and elderly pensioners have coin fed heaters and they have to chose between food and warmth. These are officially called "excess deaths".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6921281/Britain-facing-one-of-the-coldest-winters-in-100-years-experts-predict.html

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I see Paul gets a mention in that article.......

Paul Michaelwaite, forecaster Dogs body for NetWeather.tv, said: “It is looking like this winter could be in the top 20 cold winters in the last 100 years.

Radio, newspapers he'll be on the tele next...:cold::cold:...

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It is true, we will almost certainly have an excess number of cold-related deaths this winter. One important point to make here is the main killer is winters that are significantly colder than the recent average- and while last winter might have helped prepare people a little, the recent average is so mild that some people will be particularly unprepared for a winter like this.

I often hear "too many elderly people die" as an argument for why we should all wish for mild, moist winters with minimal inconvenience and disruption. The key flaw in that argument is that if we have a run of mild winters, the "recent average" rises, and relatively modest cold becomes colder relative to this average, meaning that a modestly cold winter is more likely to produce more excess deaths. Otherwise, why doesn't Moscow have significantly more cold-related deaths per head despite winters there being 10-15C colder? The key is that they are more prepared for it as they are used to it.

By the same token, a very cold winter this year might hopefully make people more prepared for cold in the future, reducing the number of cold-related deaths over the next few winters.

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We also tend to record 'cause of death' as opposed to what started that chain of events (as I found with my Fathers death this summer) so Hypothermia is never really mentioned yet organ failures (kidney,Heart,Liver etc.) leap as C.O.D.'s in old folk over cold snaps (wouldn't do to be a nation who freezes it's old folk would it? kinda like the difficulty in having an obvious suicide noted as anything other than 'accidental death').

Our L.A. has declared a grit/road salt emergency and refers to it as a 'national shortage'. If we are looking at another 8 days of cold then my L.A. ,for one, will not be able to grit even major highways. The say the Govt. will take over 'suppliers' and distribute to the most needy areas........

How many broken bones will result from falls on the ice? how much more damage will impacted response time from emergency services (not their fault) cause to the victims. Old folk in pain and shock in the cold? not a good recipenonono.gif

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