Category: Surgery

A soldier has a tourniquet with other soldiers doing the same in the background

Rethinking tourniquets

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Research  /  Surgery

The use of tourniquets to stop massive bleeding and save lives goes back centuries. But in modern times, their use has been a bit controversial — mainly because of some reports that they can damage nerves and tissue. In the military, however, tourniquets saw increased use in Iraq and Afghanistan — with studies demonstrating their effectiveness on the battlefield. And while civilian use has lagged because of those lingering concerns, interest has grown — particularly in the wake of mass-casualty events such as the Boston Marathon bombing. “The controversy regarding their use in the civilian realm lies in the degree of …Read More >

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A close up of a test tube tray containing a number of purple-tipped vacutainer tubes, with green tubes in the background

Finding hepatitis C

Categories: Cancer  /  Infections  /  News  /  Research  /  Surgery  /  Transplants

All Baby Boomers should be screened for hepatitis C, according to federal recommendations. That’s because an estimated three-quarters of infections are in people born between 1945 and 1965, and most patients don’t know they’re infected. So far, most of that screening has taken place in clinics and doctors’ offices. But a newly published pilot study at University Hospital found that screening hospital patients for hepatitis C can catch many infections that outpatient testing misses. “We tested about 95 percent of the people who’d never been screened before,” said Dr. Barbara Turner, an internal medicine physician and professor of medicine at …Read More >

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An up close view of a drug coated balloon artery

New help for peripheral artery disease

Categories: Diabetes  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery

Peripheral artery disease is a common problem, particularly in diabetics, affecting millions in the United States. Blood vessels in the legs become narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, raising the risk of amputations, heart attacks and stroke. Doctors typically recommend lifestyle changes and medications first to treat the condition. When that fails, they turn to opening the narrowed blood vessel with a balloon catheter. But often the blockage returns months or years later. Now, doctors have a new tool approved by the FDA in recent months — a balloon coated with a drug that resists the reforming of plaque on …Read More >

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A lit up piece of lab equipment in a medical facility

A promising new treatment for cancer

Categories: Cancer  /  News  /  Research  /  Surgery  /  Technology

A new treatment for cancer using minuscule radioactive fat particles injected directly into the tumor holds promise as a powerful, highly targeted therapy with minimal side effects. The treatment, developed by researchers at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center, is undergoing clinical trials. The first patient, identified as David Williams, 54, was treated for brain cancer at University Hospital last week.  But the researchers believe the concept will be useful for other types of solid tumors as well. Dr. Andrew Brenner, a neuro-oncologist, is the principle investigator of the study. Other centers have been …Read More >

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A hand in a white gloves holds up a medical instrument

Tiny heart pump keeps transplant patient alive

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Technology  /  Transplants

Mark Kennedy had finally gotten the call from University Transplant Center that a new liver was available. The 59-year-old and his wife made the hourlong drive from their home in Austin to University Hospital for the transplant. The transplant appeared to be going well. But as the surgeons were nearly finished, Mr. Kennedy’s condition began to change. Perhaps from the stress of the surgery, he went into cardiac arrest and showed clear signs of a major heart attack. He went into shock. Complicating the treatment options was the fact he was bleeding, and his new liver had not yet taken …Read More >

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Three little boys wear matching striped shirts as they hold hands and run forward

A wish come true

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Transplants

You might remember when we introduced you to Matthew Parker, a 6-year-old who has suffered from kidney disease for most of his young life. The other interesting thing about Matthew? He’s a triplet, inseparable from brothers Mark and Samuel. When Matthew’s kidneys stopped working altogether, he was placed on dialysis — a process that artificially does the work of kidneys by filtering the blood of toxins. Doctors at University Transplant Center also placed him on the transplant list. He got his new kidney at the age of 2. Unfortunately, Matthew’s body began rejecting the new kidney after a couple of years. …Read More >

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An air life helicopter is in motion against a blue sky

Too many trauma centers?

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Surgery

While having multiple level I trauma centers capable of taking care of the most seriously injured patients might seem like a good thing, some places are seeing an oversupply — mainly because trauma care can be profitable for hospitals. But the American College of Surgeons, which sets the standards for trauma centers, said today in a new policy statement that trauma center designation should be based on the needs of the community, rather than the desires of individual hospitals. Dr. Ronald Stewart, a trauma surgeon at University Hospital and chairman of surgery at the UT Health Science Center, who also serves as chair …Read More >

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An iPhone rests on the center console of a car while the rest of the car's interior is out of focus

Keeping your focus behind the wheel

Categories: Blog  /  Children's Health  /  Emergency care  /  Surgery  /  Technology

As someone who takes care of children and adults who are seriously injured in car crashes, I was happy to see the city of San Antonio pass an ordinance banning the use of hand-held phones while driving. I believe it will save lives if people follow the law. Unfortunately, cell phones aren’t the only cause of distracted driving — although they are a major cause. Across the nation on average, distracted driving kills more than nine people each day and injures more than 1,153. To put it plainly, distracted driving increases the chances you will be in a motor vehicle …Read More >

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Three little boys wear matching striped shirts as they hold hands and run forward

A special Christmas wish for Matthew

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Transplants

Like most kids, 6-year-old Matthew Parker has a wish list for Santa. His family, however, has a wish for Matthew — a little boy who has struggled with a serious medical condition for most of his young life. “Matthew already wrote Santa a really nice letter,” his mother, Lisa Parker, said. “He spent quite a bit of time writing everything out himself. Matthew knows the toys will come from Santa Claus, and that a new kidney will come from someone special.” Matthew’s kidneys began to fail when he was just three weeks of age. It was the second bit of life-altering …Read More >

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Second annual community trauma report with a UHS building against a blue sky

As biking becomes more popular, injuries are on the rise

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Surgery

The growing popularity of bicycles has come with a price — a sharp rise in both adults and children treated at University Hospital with severe injuries from bike crashes. That was one of the highlights from University Health System’s second annual Community Trauma Report, which looks at major causes of serious injuries and trends in South Texas over a five-year period, using data from thousands of trauma patients seen at University Hospital. The report was released Thursday as families across the country prepare to take to the road for the holidays. “With this, our second annual Community Trauma Report, we hope to continue …Read More >

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