Morning Medical Update Monday 2-5-24

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


Key points from today’s guests:

Morning Rounds – Update on Current News

Dr. Marc Parrish, fetal-maternal medicine physician, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Research from the CDC shows pregnancies are getting shorter. Full-term pregnancy is considered 40 weeks the new study found early-term birth between 37 to 38 weeks are up 20 percent since 2014.
  • Pre-term births -- meaning before 37 weeks -- are up 12 percent in the same timeframe.
  • Full-term and late births dropped by six percent and 28 percent, respectively.
  • If you look at newborn outcomes at 39 weeks versus going to 40-41 weeks, those newborns are going to do just as well and have experienced the same risks for any potential newborn complication. It doesn't make a difference.
  • Patients who are thinking of becoming pregnant and want to ensure the healthiest pregnancy outcome and try to get to that 39 plus week mark in the pregnancy, it is important to have that conversation with their primary care physician or an OBGYN just to do a quick overview of what their health history is.

Focus Topic

Teri Pool, throat cancer survivor

  • About three years ago, Teri experienced a sore throat that would not go away, even after rounds of antibiotics.
  • Concerned, she went to an ear, nose and throat specialist who recommended taking out her tonsils.
  • She asked the doctor if it could be cancer and he said it was not.
  • It turns out that she DID have cancer and got a second opinion at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, which completely changed her treatment options.
  • After her surgery, therapists helped her learn how to swallow again and she can now enjoy the food that she, as a “foodie,” really enjoys.
  • She credits her husband, also a cancer survivor, for guiding her through the process, along with the wonderful Cancer Center staff.

Dr. Andres Bur, head and neck surgeon; director, robotic and minimally invasive head and neck surgery, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • Head and neck cancers are not common, so it is easy for some doctors to miss.
  • We see a lot of them here because this is the major academic center for the region.
  • We did a full evaluation of Teri’s cancer and gave her options of surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Teri opted for a specialized surgery call transoral robotic surgery, which is a minimally invasive approach to treat these types of cancers of the tonsil and the base of tongue.
  • In terms of the side effects of head neck radiation, particularly for these types of cancers, they can be quite severe, so the surgery worked without those difficult side effects.
  • While we are seeing a decline in the overall number of head neck cancers related to tobacco and alcohol, which we consider to be the traditional risk factors for head neck cancer, we're seeing a rise in HPV or human papilloma virus related cancer of the tonsil or the base of tongue.
  • We don't know why we're seeing that rise, but it's been ongoing for several decades.
  • The HPV vaccine is an effective vaccine in helping prevent those types of cancers.

COVID Updates

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • This week, the COVID count is at 24 active inpatients, in line with the 23 active inpatients last week.
  • A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases looked back to see if infection control measures prevented COVID from spreading inside hospitals.
  • Overall, their conclusion was that yes, there was mitigation strategies that we use in infection prevention, including masking hand hygiene, the gowns, etc. that did actually help to prevent spread to and from healthcare workers to and from patients.
  • If we're talking about HPV vaccine, we have a vaccine against cancer. And it works extremely well.
  • Not only that, but it's an extremely safe and if it's used in the correct setting -- the recommendation is the younger that people get it the better -- they have less chance of being exposed to those viruses.

Tuesday, February 6 at 8 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. One patient in need of a new kidney connected with a community of patients to help endure life on the transplant list.

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