Morning Medical Update Monday 9-19-22

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 53 COVID patients today, up from 50 Friday. Other significant numbers:

  • 36 with the active virus today, 26 Friday
  • 6 in ICU, 6 Friday
  • 2 on ventilators, 2 Friday
  • 17 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 24 Friday

Key points from today’s guests:

Jodi Grimes, multiple myeloma patient

  • Bad headaches, nausea and excessive fatigue were the warning signs that she had a problem
  • Chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant put her into remission from multiple myeloma for 18 months, but the cancer returned
  • First patient chosen to receive Carvkti, a newly-approved CAR-T therapy for her rare cancer
  • Noticed improvement within 30 days of treatment

Dr. Al-Ola Abdallah, multiple myeloma specialist in Hematology

  • Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that affects one of the white blood cells called plasma cells
  • Previous treatments were only about 30% effective. Carvkti has shown to be about 98% successful
  • Side effects from treatment are minimal
  • Since it is FDA-approved, treatment is covered by insurance

Dr. Joseph McGuirk, Dr. Joseph McGuirk, division director of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapeutics with the University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • Explained how CAR-T therapy works, by taking a patient’s own T-cells, which fight cancer, re-engineering them in a lab and reintroducing them into the body to fight the disease
  • Currently, it’s given only to patients who have exhausted all of the standard drugs, including stem cell transplantation
  • Believes this will become the standard first-line treatment in the future
  • Calls success rate, “really stunning, remarkable and unprecedented.”
  • Says, “This is the most exciting, promising time in the history of cancer therapeutics. It will just get better and better as the science unfolds.”

Dr. Steve Lauer, pediatrician, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Increased screen time for kids is a concern.
  • More than two hours of non-educational screen time a day leads to increased symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • It’s unlikely in today’s world that kids will avoid screen time all together, but parents need to take an active role in monitoring what their kids are watching, especially with social media
  • With flu vaccinations lagging for kids, parents need to make sure they get both their flu shot and a COVID booster this fall

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

  • Health system COVID numbers are higher while the national trend is lower
  • CDC data shows you are five times more likely to go to the hospital if you are not up to date on your COVID booster
  • As we move into the cooler season, we have to expect some sort of COVID surge along with influenza rates increasing as well

Tuesday, September 20 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. Most of us take getting in and out of a car for granted. But it can be a real struggle for someone with an injury or illness. Now there’s a tool that lets them practice this skill which can return their independence. We’ll show you how it works.

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