Amber Zepeda, born at 24 weeks weighing only a pound

A medical miracle

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  NICU  /  Pregnancy  /  Research  /  Surgery

Halfway through what would have been a normal pregnancy, Adriana Zepeda went into premature labor with her second child. She delivered little Amber at 24 weeks gestation and a birth weight of just over one pound.To put it into context, a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks. Prematurity is considered a birth before 37 weeks. Any baby born at 25 weeks or earlier is considered extremely premature. It wasn’t that long ago that babies such as Amber would not have survived, said Dr. Cynthia Blanco, medical director of the Neonatal Nutrition & Bone Institute at University Health System and professor of …Read More >

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Alma Arellano, 1, who received a living donor liver transplant at University Hospital

A selfless act for a gravely ill child

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  Transplants

Six weeks after she was born, Alma Arellano of Brownsville was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a serious liver disorder in which the bile ducts aren’t working properly. Within days, she underwent surgery at University Hospital to restore the flow of bile from her liver. While the ducts were repaired, Alma developed a series of infections that eventually caused her liver to fail. And because of her tiny size, it proved difficult to find a size-matched deceased donor liver to transplant into her. “She was literally slipping away from us,” said Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, the Carlos and Malú Alvarez University Distinguished …Read More >

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Smoking gun

Common ground on preventing gun violence

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  trauma

After each high-profile tragedy involving gun violence, the debate begins anew over gun rights and restrictions. And with that debate, Americans show themselves to be as divided as ever. Surgeons — those charged with treating the countless thousands each year who are injured by gunfire — are just as divided as the rest of us, it turns out. The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma has surveyed its members on the subject since 2014. “More than half of the survey respondents hold the view that firearms are beneficial and important for personal liberty and self-protection. About a third believe …Read More >

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University Health System Fitness on the Plaza classes at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Finding fitness among the crowd

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  Wellness

Some among us would rather climb the steep trail to physical fitness on their own. These often are people who prefer to sweat in private. A few may even be antisocial. But for others who find comfort and support in a crowd of fellow fitness aficionados, we have a pretty good option that’s light on the wallet. Twice a month, University Health System sponsors Fitness on the Plaza, a series of free fitness activities at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. All classes, led by area fitness instructors, take place on the lovely Will Naylor Smith River Walk Plaza. From yoga …Read More >

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Pharmacist stocking over-the-counter medicines

OTC meds and work: A bad combination?

Categories: News

You can buy over-the-counter medicines without a prescription, so they must be harmless — right? Not necessarily. Particularly if you’re in a job that requires you to be alert and focused. Some common over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause serious side effects. Some of these side effects can be felt or sensed by you, but not by others. Those you can usually feel are: Dizziness Drowsiness Double vision Headache Vertigo Those you may not feel are: Confusion Depression Slow reactions Any of these side effects can weaken or change your perception, attention, and judgment. Consider your workplace The type of work you do …Read More >

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