Tag archives for: emergency,

A female doctor stops the bleeding of a female patient

Stop the Bleed

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  trauma

A life-threatening injury can happen anywhere, and the closest help is almost always a bystander — be it a friend, a family member or a complete stranger. And because a person can bleed to death in minutes, before a first responder can arrive, University Health System on Monday held its first Stop the Bleed course — a 90-minute class that teaches a few basic skills to stop major blood loss in an emergency. The free classes will take place at University Hospital at 4 p.m. on the first Monday of every month. For now, no reservation is required. “It’s not …Read More >

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An up close view of a sparkler at night

Celebrating the New Year safely

Categories: Emergency care  /  News

To many, New Year’s Eve means silly hats, noisemakers and fireworks displays. To help you and your loved ones have a safe and happy New Year’s holiday, Health Focus SA is offering this rerun of our July 4 column on fireworks safety. Don’t think of it as old news. Think of it as timeless advice. If your celebration plans include Champagne — or any other adult beverage — recruit a designated driver or take a bus or taxi home. The Texas Department of Transportation has an easy-to-use site, SoberRides.org, which uses your location to help you find alternate transportation. And AAA Texas offers …Read More >

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Four doctors race a man on a gurney to the nearest operating room for an emergency

When the heart stops

Categories: Emergency care  /  Heart Health  /  News

If someone suffers cardiac arrest in their living room or on the street, should they be rushed to the hospital? For most people, the answer is a resounding “yes.” But within medical circles, it’s not so clear. Some 90 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests prove fatal. And some argue that given the lack of effective treatment — and because defibrillators are no longer confined to hospitals — a well-trained ambulance crew can do as much for patients as a hospital. Dr. Bruce Adams, chairman of emergency medicine at the UT Health Science Center and University Hospital, thinks the hospital is …Read More >

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Four doctors race a man on a gurney to the nearest operating room for an emergency

For the sickest patients, chances of dying lowest at the busiest ERs

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Research

The conventional wisdom holds that if you’re suffering from a medical emergency, you should get to the closest hospital as quickly as possible. But a new study is raising questions about that wisdom. An analysis of 17.5 million very sick patients admitted to hospitals across the country found that those who went to the busiest emergency departments had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from eight high-risk conditions, compared to those who went to the least busy. For some serious, life-threatening conditions, the differences were even greater. Sepsis patients had a 26 percent lower death rate at the busiest …Read More >

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An up close view of a sparkler at night

Avoiding a painful Fourth of July holiday

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

“It didn’t light!” Those words are often heard before some pretty serious injuries each July 4, as children rush back to inspect a firecracker or Roman candle they wrongly think failed to light — only to have it explode in their faces. On average, about 40 patients a day are treated for fireworks-related burns at University Hospital’s Emergency Department throughout the month of July. Many of these could have been prevented, said Dr. Lillian Liao, medical director of pediatric trauma at the hospital, and assistant professor of surgery at the UT Health Science Center. “Handling fireworks can quickly lead to …Read More >

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A doctor pushes the medicine in a syringe into a small tube

Fine-tuning a treatment for hearts

Categories: Emergency care  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Research

Sudden cardiac arrest is unfortunately common and often deadly — bringing many people to hospital emergency rooms. Among the challenges of treating them is the fact that the malfunctioning heart can’t properly send enough blood to the brain and other organs and tissues throughout the body, causing further damage. Doctors have long used epinephrine, which causes blood vessels to constrict and squeeze more blood through the circulatory system to where it’s needed. One problem is that many cardiac arrest patients suffer a build-up of acid in their bodies when their hearts aren’t functioning properly over time — a condition called …Read More >

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Four doctors in blue scrubs lean over a patient as they perform an operation

You versus car

Categories: Blog  /  Emergency care

It’s all too common at University Hospital for us to take care of people hit by cars and trucks while crossing the street — more than 200 a year, on average. Nationally, about one in 10 of these pedestrian injuries proves fatal, about 4,000 deaths per year. Texas ranks third in the nation in pedestrian deaths. Statistically, teens and young adults are the most likely to be rushed to emergency rooms across the country with these injuries — and a few of those have been in our local news in recent weeks. The saddest part is that almost all of …Read More >

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An air life helicopter hovers above a red and white landing pad on the roof of a hospital

AirLIFE adds drug to stop blood loss from injury

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Surgery

A drug shown to slow massive bleeding and save lives if given early enough is now aboard San Antonio AirLIFE helicopters for use in seriously injured patients. Tranexamic acid, or TXA, aids in clotting. It’s been around for many years and used for hemophilia, dental procedures and other conditions. And while it’s also been used to treat bleeding from serious injuries in other parts of the world, interest in this country has grown with the completion of two studies outside the United States — one of those involving some local military trauma surgeons and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. “This medication …Read More >

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A heart monitor records data while an out of focus nurse helps a patient

I’m an ER doc

Categories: Blog  /  Emergency care

Over the past year, the first 10 doctors in our inaugural emergency medicine residency program have been hard at work in University Hospital’s Emergency Department, developing new skills and perfecting old ones. I couldn’t be more pleased with them. When they leave here, they’ll make top notch ER docs — one of the most in-demand specialties in medicine. I really like the term ER doc. There’s kind of a debate about this in our profession, but about half of us insist on being called emergency medicine physicians. They tend to be the academic types. But I prefer the term ER …Read More >

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Beef and sausage kabobs smoke on a hot coal grill

Beware the bristles!

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Surgery

It’s a Texas tradition, firing up the backyard grill. But how you clean that grill between uses could mean the difference between a savory meal and a trip to the hospital. The culprit? In the case of a few local patients, doctors found they had swallowed metal bristles — broken or dislodged from brushes used to clean outdoor grills. Those bristles can remain on the grill surface until they stick to food. “It was like somebody stuck an ice pick in me,” said Johnnie Littrell, 66, a Floresville construction manager. Littrell was about to be wheeled in for a colonoscopy …Read More >

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