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New research to stop children dying from treatable infections

New research is being carried out in Northampton to try to reduce the number of children dying from treatable infections.

New research is being carried out in Northampton to try to reduce the number of children dying from treatable infections.

Figures show under-5s in the UK are twice as likely to die from conditions such as pneumonia and sepsis than children in Sweden.

Now an 18 month study led by the University of Northampton is being carried out to discover why survival rates here are so low and what can be done about it.

ITV News Anglia has been speaking to a mother from Kettering who knows first hand how important it is to improve the way we diagnose and treat deadly infections in children.

  • Click to watch the report by Liz Summers

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Cold weather prompts health alert

Health officials in Cambridgeshire have triggered a cold weather alert - warning people to make sure vulnerable and elderly friends and family stay warm.

The level 3 alert will be in place until Saturday.

Cold weather prompts alert Credit: ITV Anglia

Severe cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic illnesses.

The Public Health team at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are recommending some simple measures to help people stay warm and well during the cold weather.

"It is vital that during this period of cold weather, people act to keep themselves and their home warm. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu and other diseases and people slip and fall in the snow or ice, sometimes suffering serious injuries. Some groups, such as older people, very young children, and people with serious medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. To keep warm, wear several layers of clothes rather than just one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles. If indoors, keep your heating to the right temperature as heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing.

– Val Thomas, Public Health Consultant

Cambridgeshire's health team has also issued the following advice:

  • It is important to keep warm in winter - both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
  • Use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years. Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket
  • Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks
  • Aim to include five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count toward your five a day
  • Stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy
  • Exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter
  • If possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans
  • Wear lots of thin layers - clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat
  • Wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent trips, slips and falls
  • Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out
  • Check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier.

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Addenbrooke's Hospital has declared a flu outbreak

Addenbrooke’s Hospital say they've seen a big rise in the number of people with flu like systems and have confirmed it's an outbreak.

The hospital says it has put plans into place to manage the outbreak, but are appealing for people to help them prevent the spread.

Flu outbreak at Addenbrooke's Credit: PA Wire

They're urging visitors to stay away from hospital if they have flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea or sickness this Christmas and New Year, or have had these symptoms over the last 48 hours.

The hospital has also said:

  • Only two visitors per patient are permitted at any one time
  • Use hand sanitisers at the entrance to each ward, or wash your hands in the nearby sinks with soap and water.
  • Children should not visit unless agreed with the wards in advance.
  • If you need to come into A & E please do not bring large groups of friends and family, since it increases the risk of infection.
  • A&E is really busy so it is important that patients only attend if it is an emergency or a life threatening condition.
Flu outbreak at Addenbrooke's Credit: PA Wire

The hospital says people with coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms are advised to rest at home and ensure they drink plenty of fluids.

All Benjamin wants for Christmas is a new heart

A mum and dad from Peterborough have started a campaign to find their baby a new heart.

Benjamin Hardy was born unable to pump blood properly, and he is waiting for a transplant.

Benjamin Hardy Credit: ITV Anglia

Benjamin's parents are trying to raise awareness of his life threatening condition and are urging people to sign up for organ donation.

Four month old Ben is being treated at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, he's never been well enough to go home.

Benjamin's condition is called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It means the left side of his heart is smaller and doesn't pump blood properly.

Click below to watch our report from Stuart Leithes...

Medics help injured dad survive to celebrate son's first Christmas

Adam Shailer suffered 18 broken ribs and a shattered pelvis after a crash on his motorbike.

A dad from Peterborough who didn't think he'd survive to see his son's first Christmas after crashing his motorbike and being run over by a car, has thanked the medics who saved his life.

Adam Shailer suffered serious injuries including 18 broken ribs and a pelvis broken in 29 places. He spent five months in hospital.

He was riding his motorbike to work in August 2016 when he collided with a car near Huntingdon.

Magpas Air Ambulance said he was one of the most injured patients they had ever treated and their care saved his life.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Dani Crawshaw
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