Category: News


Surviving snake season

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  trauma

If you live in South Texas, it’s a sure bet you’ve got some slithery neighbors. We’re talking snakes — from the harmless garden variety to the venomous kind. And while there are a few venomous snakes in our region — be they rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins or coral snakes — the best advice is to give them a wide berth if you see one. “If you see a snake, stay away. Don’t get close to take a better look at it to see if it’s venomous,” said Dr. Shawn Varney, an emergency medicine physician at University Hospital and medical director …Read More >

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boy makes a face before boarding a school bus.

Back to school!?!

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

The summer break zipped right by — although it seems to have left the near-100 degree heat behind as a reminder. Area school districts have either started classes or will soon. University Health System teamed up with KSAT and other local partners to provide last-minute vaccinations at the Alamodome earlier today. If you still need back-to-school vaccinations, here’s a handy list of locations and times from San Antonio Metropolitan Health District — including the schedule of University Health System’s healthyUexpress mobile clinic. In honor of families rounding up the kids and scooting them out the door to school, we’re resurrecting …Read More >


Safer than cigarettes? No vaping way

Categories: Cancer  /  News

It’s touted as a safe alternative to cigarettes. But is vaping really that harmless? The short answer, says pediatrician Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, is no. Vaping is the inhalation of aerosol produced by an electronic cigarette when it heats nicotine and other chemicals. It differs from traditional cigarettes in that there is no smoke inhaled, only water vapor. While cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals, including nicotine, it is unknown how many chemicals are in an e-cigarette. “The ‘vapor’ released from an electronic nicotine delivery system, or E.N.D.S., is not actually a vapor, but an aerosol that contains numerous airway irritants …Read More >

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Not just a bump on the head

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  rehabilitation

Whether it’s from football, soccer or even cheerleading, the number of concussions in student athletes is on the rise. So, what can you do to protect your kids from getting brain injuries while playing sports? How dangerous are concussions? Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that are caused by a blow or bump to the head or body resulting in the brain moving back and forth rapidly in the skull. Concussions can have long-term negative health effects including: Memory problems Sleep disturbances Emotional or mood changes Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks And in some cases, especially when multiple concussions occur, …Read More >

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woman with upset stomach

A stomach bug makes an unwelcome appearance

Categories: Infections  /  News

A stomach-churning foodborne infection is suddenly in the news again this summer — and it seems to have Bexar County in its crosshairs. The Texas Department of State Health Services is issuing warnings about cyclospora, a parasite often associated with raw produce. While they’re still trying to figure out the source of the problem, the largest number of cases have been identified in Bexar and Travis County. Of 156 cases reported statewide, Travis has had 31 cases and Bexar 24. University Health System’s laboratory confirmed four cases in the week ending July 28 alone. All four of the patients were between …Read More >

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Your kids and meningitis: What you need to know

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

Their backpacks are packed and their pencils are sharpened, but without the meningitis vaccination, your teenager may not be ready for school this fall. What do parents need to know about meningitis? Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective tissues surrounding the brain and part of the spinal cord. It’s usually caused by a very contagious bacteria or virus. Meningitis can be very serious with long-term negative health effects including: Memory loss Coordination problems or clumsiness Epilepsy/seizures Loss of vision Speech problems Paralysis And in some cases, meningitis can even be deadly. Because meningitis is so contagious, it’s important that …Read More >

Young girl getting a vaccination

The risk of opting out

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

It’s a growing trend that worries doctors, educators and public health officials — parents declining to vaccinate their children. Vaccine refusal rates have been on the rise in Texas. The number of unvaccinated children has reached an alarming 45,000-plus, putting them — and others around them — at risk for several serious diseases, including diphtheria and measles, experts warn. And the trend line is getting steeper. “We have seen a nearly 20-fold increase in the past 10 to 15 years,” said Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, a UT Health San Antonio pediatrician. “It’s one of the public health concerns that I …Read More >

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Be kind to your skin

Categories: Cancer  /  News

Exposure to the South Texas sun can be brutal and dangerous for your body. Without adequate protection, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can leave you with more than just a bad burn. Why are Ultraviolet (UV) rays harmful? UV rays make up a small portion of light emitted from the sun. Though sunlight is the primary source of UV, people can also be exposed to UV rays through tanning beds or lamps. UV rays are the main cause of damage to the skin because they can negatively affect the DNA of skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV rays can increase the …Read More >

Man sleeping with head in refrigerator

In the heat of the night

Categories: Emergency care  /  News

The sun has been particularly brutal during the recent string of triple-digit temperatures. But even the night can be risky for some during an extreme heat wave like the one we’ve been experiencing. While the heat wave has plenty of people fleeing indoors and waiting for sunset, high temperatures at night can still pose a health problem to those who don’t have air conditioning. If people aren’t comfortable opening their windows at night, or the house still does not cool down well, they could still suffer heat-related stress, said Dr. Mark Muir, trauma medical director at University Hospital and an assistant …Read More >

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Falon and Robert Griffin, with newborn Gracelyn Mae

When baby won’t wait

Categories: Children's Health  /  Emergency care  /  News  /  Pregnancy

A restaurant bathroom is not the ideal place to deliver a high-risk pregnancy, but Gracelyn Mae wasn’t going to wait. Her parents, Falon and Robert Griffin, were heading to University Hospital so their baby could be delivered by Dr. Patrick Ramsey, an obstetrician and maternal-fetal medicine specialist. They stopped at the Chick-Fil-A at U.S. 281 and Evens Road — after closing time — to meet friends who would pick up their two older children, but Falon urgently needed to use the restroom. Employees opened the door and let them in. Then she started to give birth. “At that moment I realized, ‘Oh my …Read More >

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