Morning Medical Update Monday 1-30-23

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


     The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 50 COVID patients today, 47 Friday. Other significant numbers:

  •  25 with the active virus today, 20 Friday
  •  6 in ICU, 4 Friday
  •  6 on a ventilator, 4 Friday

Key points from today’s guests:

Morning Roundup – Reaction to Current Headlines

Sara Kostelnick, board certified sports dietician, The University of Kansas Health System

  • In response to viral posts from a Chiefs fan bringing baked potatoes to the games, Sara says we don’t give potatoes the credit that they deserve.
  • They're actually a super nutrient dense food option. Nutritionally, we categorize it as a carbohydrate or a starchy vegetable.
  • Because it's a vegetable, it's actually full of potassium, vitamin C, and iron, so potatoes can absolutely be a part of everyone's daily eating pattern.
  • Sara calls herself a food inclusive dietitian. Portion potatoes to whatever your carbohydrate needs are and pair it with a healthy protein and a healthy fat as well. If you if you can do that then potatoes can absolutely be included.

Feature Story

Alex Dinkel, pediatric cancer survivor, senior clinical data coordinator, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • Alex was diagnosed with a rare form of Ewing sarcoma when he was 16.
  • Now, more than 15 years later, he has moved from Cincinnati to Kansas City, had to get a new set of cancer treatment doctors, and now works at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.
  • When you age out of the system as a kid, it can be concerning to find another set of doctors.
  • His treatment team at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and the Health System overall, was excellent.
  • He recommends that patient not be afraid to ask doctors questions. It can be intimidating because they are doctors, but they have the same goal in mind – to take care of you and provide support for you and your family.
  • Don’t be afraid to push back and ask tough questions of doctors. They want to help.

Dr. Becky Lowry, medical director, Pediatric Survivorship Transition Clinic, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • The key is “transition” because it is important to transfer pediatric care over to adult care without missing anything.
  • The Survivorship Transfer Clinic specializes in taking care of patients who are 18 years and older who have had a history of cancer in childhood or young adulthood.
  • There's less than 100 adult dedicated centers like this in in the country. So it is such a privilege for us to have an opportunity to serve in this clinic and be surrounded by experts and sub specialists in the field -- and the greatest privilege is the opportunity to work with patients.
  • Each of us has a unique medical blueprint and should have a unique medical care plan.
  • We encourage patients to ask questions and to partner with your care team to develop an individualized plan that fits your unique medical needs.
  • They can reach out to the Cancer Center Navigator Team to help.

COVID Updates

Dr. Wissam El Atrouni, infectious diseases, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Unfortunately, COVID remains an unpredictable virus.
  • The other respiratory viruses are more seasonal, for example, influenza typically is a winter virus. We rarely see it although there have been exception years where a new strain comes up and pops in the summer.
  • But COVID has been all year long. The numbers go up and down. We've seen major surges in the winter, but it just continues all year long.
  • We are hoping it will become a seasonal virus where you can time your vaccine before the surge. That would be an ideal situation, but we're not there yet.

Wednesday, February 1 is the next edition of Open Mics with Dr. Stites. What do you do if your heart starts failing, but you’re not able to get a transplant right away? Many patients are relying on a small device called LVAD to keep them alive. You’ll learn more about tiny machines that pump blood for your heart and the promising new research about LVADs.

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