Morning Medical Update Monday 1-23-23

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 69 COVID patients today, 70 Friday. Other significant numbers:

  •  34 with the active virus today, 37 Friday
  •  6 in ICU, 8 Friday
  •  4 on a ventilator, 4 Friday


Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. J.P. Darche, Kansas City Chiefs team physician, family and sports medicine, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Former NFL player turned doctor, so he has a perspective from both sides.
  • Player preparation for the playoffs goes back all the way to the preparation in the offseason – working with strength coaches and the athletic trainers.
  • The key for any athlete is hydration, sleep, and taking care of yourself.
  • When the Demar Hamlin injury happened, it was different. There's been a number of times where a player gets carried off the field for neck injury or a big leg injury, but never this serious.
  • When it's your teammate or even an opponent that you don't know personally, there's always a sense of respect and worry. And it can be hard to go back to playing after that.

Brett Woods, Ph. D., exercise and sports psychology, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Pressure is a privilege. NFL players are professional. They've been trained their entire careers for moments and opportunities like these.
  • With pressure, sometimes you get caught up in the outside distractions and noise. Fans put a lot of emphasis on that, but for the most part, that just gets tuned out. There may be some out there that use that as motivation and fuel, but the reality is they're ready. They're prepared. They're confident.
  • Mindfulness training is the act of training your brain to get into the present moment. That's where performance happens. Some athletes struggle with getting stuck on that last play good or bad, you just scored a touchdown or threw an interception. So you have to learn to let go of that and move on to getting the present moment.
  • Do not underestimate the power of breathing and breathing in a very specific way. Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing is one of the fastest ways to help our nervous system handle stress response. It’s a great way of managing their energy and getting into that relaxed focus state so they can have a clearer mind when they're performing.

Jennifer Medellin, RN, nurse manager, sports medicine, The University of Kansas Health System

  • In our clinics, we see literally anything -- whether you have tripped and fallen or if you have gotten hurt in a sport. If you fall off your bike. If you are just having some joint pain because you're older and needs some injections.
  • But on the sidelines, what you see is as they go down, we're all gasping at home or up in the crowd. And you start thinking what assessment are they doing and you what you know from your history and what you've treated already.
  • For the Demar Hamlin injury, I worked in the ICU for a long time, and we got used to seeing chest compressions, but the general public doesn't get used to it, so it's very traumatizing to see it.
  • And as players, how can you expect them to just turn that trauma off? Because it's, it's something that you that you can't turn off, so I was very glad to see that they decided to stop that game and let them heal.



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

  • The new weekly CDC data shows a drop not just in COVID, but flu and RSV patients showing up in emergency rooms across the country. It’s a fair assessment to say the “tripledemic” is fading.
  • We've seen a drop in those numbers since early to mid-December. They were quite high before then and quite higher than we'd really have seen for quite some time.
  • We have just a handful of patients in the hospital now with influenza, but I would always be wary of a second wave of influenza.

Wednesday, January 25, is the next live broadcast of Open Mics with Dr. Stites. You’ll meet a woman who had just about given up hope in battling multiple myeloma until her doctor put her on a brand new medicine…with miraculous results. She and her doctors will join us live.

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