Morning Medical Update Friday 4-7-23

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 30 COVID patients today, 38 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 15 with the active virus today, 20 yesterday
  • 5 in ICU, same as yesterday
  • 2 on a ventilator, 3 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. Michael Kennedy, chronic total occlusion patient

  • In August 2020, 18 months after recently retired Dr. Michael Kennedy had survived a heart attack and triple bypass surgery, doctors discovered a chronic total occlusion (CTO) – plaque had built up causing a total blockage in his coronary artery.
  • He found a doctor specializing in CTOs at the University of Kansas Health System – Dr. Tony Spaedy.
  • Being a doctor as a patient is unique because you do understand the lingo and have a better understanding of the procedures.
  • He said he had neglected himself – overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and now heart disease with a poor family history.
  • He recommends listening to your body, taking care of yourself and seeing your doctor regularly.
  • Dr. Kennedy continues to help in the community, especially around education and increasing access to health care.

Dr. Tony Spaedy, cardiologist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • There are different degrees of blocked arteries. Many people that you hear about might have an 80-90 percent blockage, which is not uncommon for people in their 50s and 60s and 70s.
  • At some point, the blockage gets bad enough that the flow of blood stops, the artery closes completely and some people have a heart attack. But many people just shut down very slowly with no immediate signs.
  • Classic heart attack symptoms are chest pains and trouble breathing, but patients may have different symptoms or no symptoms at all.
  • Treatment for CTOs include putting in two catheters, one from the groin and one from the arm so, the blockage can be attacked from both directions.
  • This was not very common 15 years ago because we just didn't have the equipment, but now there's been some major advances that that allow us to get the majority of these blockages open safely.
  • Dr. Spaedy recommends continuing to ask questions and seek answers about your healthcare.

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

  • News reports say that polio virus has been found in NYC wastewater.
  • Within cities with high travel and visitor rates from other countries, it isn’t a complete surprise to see this in wastewater.
  • It is very easy to protect ourselves with vaccinations.

Monday, April 10 is the next Morning Medical Update. We discuss the affects alcohol has on the body. From many cancers and liver disease, we dive into way to keep healthy and still enjoy a drink.

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