A DOCTOR wants people to help save lives by donating their unwanted winter woollies to Russells Hall Hospital.

The appeal comes after a 99-year-old man recently arrived at the Dudley hospital suffering with severe hypothermia, following a fall at home.

The elderly man was “freezing cold to touch” so A&E consultant, Dr Joanne Taylor scoured the department in search of a woolly hat to warm him up and get him to a healthy temperature.

She said: “The woolly hat I found may not have solely saved his life but it certainly helped to reduce further heat loss.”

Dr Taylor explained that keeping warm is very important during the colder winter months: “One of our major concerns over the winter months is elderly people developing hypothermia as we often find that patients arrive at hospital with a dangerously low body temperature in addition to other illness or injury, for example, following a fall.

“The injuries they sustain from a fall may be fairly minor but if they spend a long time on the floor without warm clothes or blankets the heat they lose can prove dangerous.”

She continued: “Warming these patients up when they arrive in hospital so we can treat them safely can be very difficult, and one of the biggest problems we face is preventing further heat loss – this is where woolly hats come in.

“A knitted hat helps reduce natural heat loss, enabling us to concentrate on making our patients better. So please knit a hat and save a life.”

Donations of both shop-bought and homemade hats and scarves can be dropped off at the hospital’s main reception between 9am and 4pm.