Morning Medical Update Monday 1-9-23

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 70 COVID patients today, 73 on Friday. Other significant numbers:

  • 44 with the active virus today, 45 Friday
  • 10 in ICU, 11 Friday
  • 6 on a ventilator, 5 Friday

Key points from today’s guests:

Chelsey Smith, marketing manager, Community Blood Center

  • It is Donor Awareness Month, and the Community Blood Center is sitting at about a one or two-day supply across most blood types. We typically like to have a 7-10-day supply.
  • The best place to find out locations for blood donations, make an appointment, and learn more about eligibility is at
  • Right after you donate your blood, it's immediately packaged into special coolers specific to human blood and sent it straight to our lab where it's tested for any evidence of infectious disease.
  • Then, it is split into its components -- including red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. We split those units up because they're used to treat different patients for different ailments.
  • Once that is gone through our components department and split up into its parts, we send it to distribution where they pack it into coolers again. And this time those coolers are going to head out to hospitals.
  • We recently launched a campaign called Give Life KC. We're partnering with hospitals and community leaders to address this blood shortage problem that really is a community problem and a nationwide problem with the only solution being more blood donors.

Tori Tabory, RN, transfusion safety nursing specialist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Our blood bank staff unboxes the blood from the Community Blood Center and scans it into the computer.
  • After scanning it they will do some confirmation testing to ensure that it is the type that they're expecting and then put it in special storage until it is needed.
  • Once it's needed, they will pull it out of the storage container and do some more scanning to verify it's going to the correct patient and send it to the patient at the bedside.
  • Good collaboration with the blood bank staff and leadership to ensure patients are able to get the blood they need.

Dr. Sean Kumer, transplant surgeon, vice president of perioperative and procedural services, The University of Kansas Health System

  • There is a lot of coordination and communication between doctors and the blood bank to make sure they have the blood needed for certain procedures.
  • During COVID, blood availability was lower, but due to COVID, there were less surgeries.
  • Most surgeries and procedures go without any blood transfusions, but sometimes unknown things that happen in surgery where it's required.
  • “Bloodless” medicine is also practiced. What we're talking about right here is a preparation technique to try to prevent having any blood transfusion.
  • Liver transplantation is long been considered some situation where you have a lot of blood, but here we're pretty careful to limit the use of blood.
  • About 55 percent of our liver transplant patients don't receive any blood products and about 10 percent only get two units of red blood cells. So that's actually a really good number and we try to limit blood use as best we can.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of infection control and prevention, The University of Kansas Health System

  • It seems like every new variant we see is more transmissible, but what experts are talking about with the new variant being more transmissible is really that evasion of antibodies.
  • We should make sure we are staying up to date with our boosters.
  • If we are talking about non-pharmaceutical intervention, masking is always going to be okay, understanding what kind of situation you're in, especially if you are in a closed space with poor ventilation.
  • For travelers, I would strongly encourage people to mask when they're traveling to avoid being sick once you get to your destination.


Wednesday, January 11, is the next Open Mics with Dr. Stites. We’ll show you a brand new way to treat cancerous brain tumors without having to undergo radiation treatment every day for six weeks.

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