Emergency team: Old and drunk people most at risk in cold weather

Despite the cold in recent days, the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) has received fewer calls than it does daily, NMPD spokeswoman Ilze Bukša said in a statement January 8.

 “There are two main risk groups during the cold, seniors and those under the influence of alcohol,” Bukša said.

Daily, medics receive 5-6 calls to seniors who are in unheated homes, have fallen, and can no longer stand up to call for help or heat the house, resulting in frostbite or hypothermia.

The other risk group is younger men found lying in the snow under the influence of alcohol - they too have been found to have hypothermia and frostbite, and taken to hospital.

There have also been deaths, mostly for seniors, and the circumstances in which they were found suggest that it is likely the cold is the culprit, Bukša said.

There was also one call in the last few days where medics rushed to help a man who had fallen through ice into a lake. Bukša stressed that despite the frost, ice is not safe and people should not be on it.

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