'Drink water' message putting elderly in hospital

Elderly patients are developing life-threatening hyponatraemia during heatwaves because they take the ‘drink plenty of water' health advice too far.

People in their 70s and 80s were drinking up to 6L of water a day, leading to profound hyponatraemia (sodium levels of 106mmol/L) that required ICU admission, according to critical care specialists at Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital.

In a report of about 10 patients with severe hyponatraemia (sodium below