Health | KCUR

Health

KCUR's health team focuses on health issues and their impact in Missouri and Kansas. Working with journalists at other public media stations and news outlets, reporters Dan Margolies and Alex Smith strive to bring listeners and readers timely, accurate and comprehensive coverage of a topic that leaves no one untouched.

joncandy / Flickr-CC

Three years ago, a Spring Hill High football player collapsed on the field after a stunning play. The cause? Brain hemorrhaging due to a concussion that went unrecognized and untreated. With sports-related brain injuries on the rise, many are calling for major safety reforms and a new approach to handle the problem. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we discuss how the approach to these types of concussions is changing and check in with the experts who are leading the culture shift in concussion treatment.

A pre-Christmas outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea that sickened almost 300 people in southwest Kansas was caused by norovirus, according to state health officials.

The outbreak has been linked to a Jimmy John's sandwich restaurant in Garden City.

As of Jan. 3, 282 people who ate at the restaurant between Dec. 10 and Dec. 24 reported becoming ill—most of them within 72 hours of eating at Jimmy John’s.

The restaurant voluntarily closed from Dec. 24 through Dec. 26 for a thorough cleaning and disinfection.

The Midwest Transplant Network

A Lee’s Summit, Mo., woman will be remembered in a special way at Wednesday’s Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Lezlie McLendon’s family hopes the memorial will send a message to others  about the benefit of organ donation.

The family says it not only saves lives, but helps those grieving.

Lezlie McLendon was driving with her sister earlier this year when she suddenly passed out. Her sister got her out of the car and tried to administer CPR, but Lezlie’s cardiac arrest left her in a coma she never woke up from.

At 45, Lezlie had never been seriously ill.

Andy Marso/Facebook

Bacterial meningitis has been in the news recently, with outbreaks at Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. But nine years ago, it made local headlines when a University of Kansas student became seriously ill with the disease overnight.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with that student, now a reporter in Topeka, about the disabling effects of the disease and how it's changed his life.

Guest:

Hey Paul Studios / flickr Creative Commons

It began when Abraham Lincoln declared that in gratitude for the Union Army’s victory at Gettysburg, the fourth Thursday in November would henceforth be a national day of Thanksgiving. We would come to add the familiar stories and imagery of pilgrims and native Americans, the tradition of a harvest feast, but the celebration’s purpose from the start was in its name.

Rchristie/Flickr-CC

It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that expectant parents could see and hear their baby through means of ultrasound and Doppler. With those advances also came a dramatic change in how we view early pregnancy loss.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a historian of women’s health about the impact of technology on first trimester miscarriages and how what was once considered an abnormal period is now the lossof a baby.

National Cancer Institute

When we talk about breast cancer, much of the conversation often centers on treatments such as chemotherapy and mastectomies. But once the cancer’s gone, patients still have a long recovery ahead.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about how reconstructive surgery options have changed and the new options available to women that can help them retain core muscles.

Guests:

National Budget Battle Threatens Medical Research

Oct 1, 2013
courtesy of AACR

Maddie Major shouldn’t be alive today. The eight-year-old girl has been fighting a form of leukemia since she was three. Robyn Major, Maddie’s mother, says in spite of chemotherapy, radiation, and even a bone  marrow transplant, Maddie’s cancer kept coming back. 

“In August of 2012, she relapsed for the second time,” says Robyn Major. "It was at that time that we realized conventional therapies weren’t going to offer a cure for Maddie.”

Study Says Kansas City Hospital Prices 'Unusually High'

Sep 16, 2013

A new study shows that the prices private insurers pay to hospitals vary widely. Not only that, they're much higher than what Medicare pays — especially in Kansas City.

The study, done by the non-profit Center for Studying Health System Change, reviewed actual claims paid for more than $500,000 auto workers and their families in 13 Midwestern metropolitan areas.

Finding The Philadelphia Chromosome

Jul 29, 2013

Developing a medicine that attacks the genes of a disease may seem like science fiction, but it’s already been done.

Voidxor / Wikimedia--CC

The REACH Healthcare Foundation recently released the Kansas City Regional Health Assessment, that analyzes health data from the area from 2000 to 2011, and offers a forecast of what’s in the future for health in Kansas City.

"The poverty rate has been increasing in the metropolitan area, and generally it's been especially increasing in suburban areas," says author and Government Innovations Forum Director for the Mid America Regional Council, Dean Katnerdahl. "So there's sort of a suburbanization of poverty."

The Emotional Side Of Medicine

Jul 11, 2013

Doctor's aren't always objective--or perfect-- when prescribing treatments.

'Marijuanamerica'

Jun 30, 2013

From the crackdowns on the drug in the 1950s and ’60s to its legalization for recreational use in two states last year, marijuana has a complicated past in America.

Some have called marijuana legalization the next big civil rights issue. Colorado and Washington have officially said it’s okay, and 19 other states allow it to be used for medical reasons.

But some big debates about the drug certainly persist. What exactly are the health consequences of using marijuana? What kind of impact is it having on our society? Should we be banning it or legalizing it in more states?

Vitamins: Helpful or Hurtful?

Jun 24, 2013
colindunn/flickr-CC

Bright labels make bold claims, "70 percent of your daily calcium" and "your daily dose of fruit and vegetables!" but how beneficial are these nutrient-packed pills to your overall health?

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Dr. Jeannie Drisko about the pros and cons of vitamins to learn which ones to keep on the shelf and which ones to toss out.  Arwen Zigmond-McBroom, a supplement specialist at Nature's Own Health Food, also weighs in on the latest vitamin trends.

Epilogue: Walking Kansas For Stroke Awareness

Jun 11, 2013
www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-Across-Kansas/

When we first talked with Sandy Billinger and her son Michael, they were preparing to trek the length of Kansas for a cause.  Today we check back in with the backpacking duo for a recap of their journey.

Balancing Life With Yoga

Jun 5, 2013
Lyn Tally/Flickr-CC

Breathe in, breathe out. It's a common exercise in yoga, and one yoga master is trying to spread the word.

Bodybuilding: Not Just For Pros

May 24, 2013
ccdoh1

If the only six-pack you have is sitting in your fridge, some local bodybuilders might have some advice for you. 

Avoiding A Summer Of Sizzling Sunburns

May 21, 2013
Phil Kates

If you just grab the highest SPF sunscreen when you head out to the lake, you might not be making the best choice. 

Baby Care: The First Few Months

May 12, 2013
Weird Beard

When you're a parent—especially a first-time parent—you worry about all kinds of things you see in your baby's development.

WyCo Effort Aims To Curb Infant Mortality

May 12, 2013
Willem Velthoven

With one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, Wyandotte County is taking steps to fix that problem.

Walking Across Kansas For Stroke Awareness

May 6, 2013
Dave Spicer

Would you walk 500 miles to raise awareness for a cause? Would you walk 70 more?

A Window Into The World Of Tourette's

Apr 30, 2013
rainydaybooks.com

People with Tourette's syndrome are often portrayed as spouting curse words uncontrollably, but there's more to the condition than that.

www.nist.gov

Should a child be able to grow up unhindered by the knowledge that later in life he or she will suffer from a serious illness?

Preventing A DIY Dust-Up

Mar 25, 2013
Laura Spencer / KCUR

Everyone knows you should wear a hard hat during construction, but are your lungs in just as much danger as your head?

A New Era Of Blood Donation

Feb 19, 2013
Beth Lipoff

We've all heard appeals to donate blood, but how have new advances in hematology changed the landscape? Is blood needed as much now as it was a decade ago?

Steve Roling is stepping down from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. He's led the foundation since it was created in 2002

kckidsdoc.com

It’s easy to go online and try to diagnose yourself when you're sick, but what do doctors think about that?

Health Levy Extension To April Ballot

Jan 18, 2013
file / bigstock.com

Kansas City, Missouri voters will decide on whether to keep the city's health levy at its present rate. The city council scheduled its extension to be on the April 2 ballot.

Diet Can Fix 'Milk And Cookie' Disease

Jan 7, 2013

Kids take medicine for all kinds of chronic conditions these days, like constipation and acid reflux, but are medicines really necessary?

Mark McDonald / Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Recent advances in genome sequencing, including a technology developed at Children’s Mercy Hospital known as "fast sequencing," are helping medical professionals diagnose often-fatal diseases. 

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