Morning Medical Update Monday 6-20-22

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 22 COVID patients today, down from 24 Friday. Other significant numbers:

  • 15 with the active virus today, 18 Friday
  • 1 in ICU, 3 Friday
  • 1 on ventilator, 1 Friday
  • 7 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 6 Friday

Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. Ryan Jacobsen, Emergency Medicine, The University of Kansas Health System

  • With the extreme heat in the area, there are many at risk of health problems. Those include elderly, young kids who can tell you when they’re overheating, and those who have not acclimated themselves to the heat.
  • Most people don’t stay hydrated enough in normal conditions, but it’s essential to do so in this heat
  • Some people get rid of more salt than others when they sweat. They need to replace their electrolytes with something that has salt like a sports drink.

Dr. Kevin Ault, OBGYN, The University of Kansas Health System, CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

  • Now that clinical trials are complete and data analyzed for safety, children as young as six months can get the COVID vaccine
  • The Moderna vaccine consists of two shots and the Pfizer vaccine consists of three shots
  • 27% of parents still say they will not get the vaccine for their children even though children are still dying from COVID. The “fear factor” is still there for those who do not look at the scientific research for themselves.
  • If a pregnant mother is vaccinated, which is perfectly safe, the child should have protection from COVID for the first six months of life.

Dr. Ryan Smith, pediatrician, The University of Kansas Health System

  • There will be conversations with many vaccine hesitant parents in the coming weeks and months to discuss COVID vaccine safety and why their children need it along with all of the other childhood vaccines
  • As the father of two-year-old twins, he’ll be getting them vaccinated as soon as possible
  • Many pediatric practices are looking at whether to allow patients who are not fully vaccinated
  • With COVID now endemic, vaccination is the best way to get past it

Mallory Leach, pediatric nurse manager

  • Already seeing a demand in pediatric clinic from parents wanting to have their children vaccinated
  • COVID vaccine will be offered with other vaccinations during well child visits
  • Some evening and Saturday vaccination appointments will be available at the health system
  • Says it’s a great feeling, both as a nurse and a parent of a child in that age group, to finally be able to give the vaccine to the youngest patients

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

  • National and local COVID cases appear to have hit a plateau or are trending lower
  • One study shows the omicron variant is less likely to cause long haul COVID, but it’s too soon to say for sure
  • Monkeypox has made it to the Metro area, but most people with the disease won’t need to be hospitalized
  • Convalescent plasma is no longer routinely used to treat COVID patients as there are other more effective therapies

The program also focused on a milestone for The University of Kansas Health System. The 200th Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) patient underwent the procedure during the Update. IORT allows some breast cancer patients to receive one dose of radiation during surgery to remove a tumor, thus saving them from coming in every day for 3-4 weeks for radiation.

Wednesday, June 22 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Open Mics With Dr. Stites. With more than 50-thousand people a year in Kansas and Missouri diagnosed with cancer, we’ll look at the role genetic testing and tumor profiling could play in finding a cure. Tomorrow, join us for the story of a Hollywood actor whose treatment at the health system helped save the day for Sponge Bob Square Pants.


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