Open Mics With Doctor Stites 5-11-22

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 15 COVID patients today, down from 17 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 4 with the active virus today, 3 yesterday
  • 0 in ICU, 0 yesterday
  • 0 on ventilator, 0 yesterday
  • 11 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 14 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. Phil Johnson, clinical service chief of Radiology, The University of Kansas Health System

  • COVID lockdown in China is causing a worldwide shortage of contrast fluid used in CT scans and X-rays. One large factory in Shanghai in particular provides much of this fluid
  • Even though factories are back in production, it will take until July for supplies around the world to be replenished
  • This contrast is also used for image guided procedures, heart catheterizations and stroke interventions
  • Hospital supplies are down 80% forcing them to use the contrast very wisely and for only the most critically ill patients
  • Many elective procedures are being rescheduled

Dr. Mario Castro, Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research at KU Medical Center and a health system pulmonology and critical care physician

  • Recruiting young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s, whose lungs are in peak condition, for nationwide five- year study of lung function
  • Lung disease begins early in life and the hope is to track changes in lungs as people get older to help change the course of lung cancer
  • Only other long term study has been for heart disease
  • Study participants will be monitored for exposure to air pollution, home and work air contaminants and other environmental factors. They will also be examined for effects of secondhand smoking exposure

Dr. Matthias Salathe, Chair of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical School, and clinical service chief of internal medicine at The University of Kansas Health System

  • Has been studying effects of tobacco and nicotine on the lungs for years. Also studying effects of vaping
  • Many think vaping is harmless, but evidence more and more clearly shows it is not
  • Uses a “vaping robot” to show how the habit can affect cells in the lungs
  • Evidence shows those who become addicted to vaping have a harder time stopping than with cigarettes
  • Even after years of smoking, the lungs can recover. It’s never too late to stop.

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer, The University of Kansas Health System

  • COVID heat map becoming more and more yellow across the U.S.
  • Missouri and Kansas cases are up
  • Hospitalizations are up, though deaths are not. Usually takes two to six weeks for deaths to catch up with hospitalization numbers

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

  • Hoping that vaccination and boosting will keep those who catch new COVID variant from becoming seriously ill
  • Even though hospital numbers are down and more people managing COVID at home, there is no indication the quarantine and isolation day schedule is going to change

Thursday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m. is the next morning Medical Update. This is National Women's Health Week, seven days of encouraging women and girls to reflect on their individual health needs. We’ll focus on the best ways to do that now.

ATTENTION: media procedure for joining:

Zoom link:

Telephone Zoom link: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID: 782 897 8628

TVU Grid link: UoK_Health_SDI

Restream links:

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