Health/Science/Tech | KERA News

Health/Science/Tech

Every week, KERA explores the latest in health, science and technology in North Texas through two main series, Vital Signs and Breakthroughs.

Charts at UNT Health Science Center's Human Movement Performance Lab.
Credit Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

Vital Signs

In Vital Signs, Sam Baker taps into the expertise of local health care leaders to provide insight into your everyday health and well-being.

Breakthroughs

In Breakthroughs, KERA reporters delve into the latest health-related technologies developed in North Texas and across the state. From the Zika virus to fried chicken, no scientific topic is off limits. 

Learn more in-depth multimedia projects: Surviving Ebola, a look at how Ebola made its way to Dallas and the lessons local hospitals and governments learned; Growing Up After Cancer, the journey of one North Texas boy with cancer; and The Broken Hip, an in-depth look at how a fall can change everything. 

Lyndsay / KERA News

I’m 30 years old and I’m on an Aspirin regimen. I have to get a colonoscopy, endometrial biopsy, CA-125 blood test, several ultrasounds and a full skin check pretty much every year.

kcheakthandwellness.com

When you go in for a mammogram, you now have a choice to make. Approved last year by the Food and Drug Administration, a 3-D mammogram is touted as a more accurate check for breast cancer. But it’s also more expensive. In a KERA Health Checkup, Dr. Jim Schroeder, a radiologist at Lake Pointe Breast Center in Rockwall, compares the two choices – beginning with the usual mammogram.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The drug tPA has been pretty effective at dissolving blood clots that can lead to stroke. But that's only if given within three hours and if the clot isn’t large. The Food and Drug Administration this year approved two mechanical devices doctors can use beyond the three hour window to remove large clots from the brain. In a KERA Health Checkup, Dr.

The deadliest West Nile season in North Texas is coming to an end. In Tarrant County, environmental health manager David Jefferson says the numbers of human cases and infected mosquitoes have dropped significantly.

Two more West Nile deaths are reported in North Texas.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">shutterstock.com</a>

You might think your home is safe for a small child. But you’d be surprised at the dangers to children lurking inside. 

BJ Austin / KERA News

The most common chronic childhood disease is almost invisible. You don’t see it like the chicken pox, or hear it like a sneeze. It’s tooth decay.

Paul Huljich had it all. His organic foods business brought him wealth and luxury. But he lost it all after a nervous breakdown and a bipolar diagnosis.

Tim Baker / flickr

More than 1200 uninsured people have scheduled appointments for Saturday’s Dallas CARE Clinic. Organizers hope that first visit is just the beginning for those without coverage.

Up-Rising / Flickr.com

Results of a new study of nearly six thousand men with prostate cancer indicate those treated either with surgery or radiation could benefit from taking aspirin regularly. In a KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talks with Dr. Kevin Choe of U.T. Southwestern Medical Center about the study.

MedicineNet.com

Like the U.S. overall, Texas is seeing more cases of pertussis or whooping cough – nearly 1100 people have come down with it this year. Six have died. 

Dynamic Aviation King Air

The North Texas Poison Control Center says its hotline has received very few calls about health problems following aerial spraying for mosquitoes.

Doctors at Heart Hospital in Plano have combined two technologies in a new approach to treating atrial fibrillation. It’s the most common form of irregular heart beat and affects three to five million Americans. Dr. J. Brian DeVille talked about this in a KERA Health Checkup.

AJ Cann / (cc) flickr

The state of Texas is warning about an increase in whooping cough, or pertussis. Six deaths are reported so far this year, the most since 2005.

crmgucd / Flickr.com

In this KERA Health Checkup, a refresher course on cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. Two years ago, guidelines for the procedure changed to put emphasis on chest compressions. Doreen Riccelli of Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett explains.

Tim Baker / flickr

Some North Texas hospitals will lose Medicare money starting in October. They’re being penalized because certain elderly patients were readmitted to the hospital soon after being discharged.  

surroundsound5000 / (cc) flickr

The idea of counties expanding Medicaid with the Affordable Care Act is getting some traction in North Texas. Governor Perry has said the state won’t do it.

Dynamic Aviation King Air

It appears aerial mosquito spraying over Dallas worked. City officials say there were no West Nile infected mosquitoes in a small sample of traps retrieved afterwards. That’s good preliminary news, but Dallas City Council members want better planning for next year’s West Nile virus season.

As student athletes begin a new school year, players, staff and parents need to be mindful of staph infections.  They’re the result of bacteria we all have on our skin and in nasal passages. But the director of primary care sports medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center says contact sports raise the potential for an infection. Dr. Robert Dimeff explains in this KERA Health Checkup.

Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control are in Texas this week trying to figure out why West Nile Virus is so prevalent in the Lone Star State.

The Centers for Disease Control put North Texas at the center of a national conference call on West Nile Virus. While Dallas, Fort Worth is clearly the most infected area in the country… the reason why, is not so clear.

New guidelines for how Texas public and charter schools should handle students with food allergies took effect August 1. In this KERA Health Checkup, Dr. Drew Bird of Children’s Medical Center talked  about the need for state guidelines when many schools have food allergy response plans in place.


Tonight, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Dallas County will continue aerial spraying for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes over Dallas County cities is cancelled for tonight.

At a Saturday afternoon update, County Judge Clay Jenkins said the chance of rain and windy conditions are keeping the planes on the ground until Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights.

Friday night, storms cut short the spraying effort. Only about 30% of the intended area was sprayed. Planes will hit the remaining 70% Sunday night. Monday and Tuesday spraying will be a second application over the entire targeted area.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has declared a state of emergency because of escalating West Nile virus cases and deaths.

Parkland Hospital is ready to put another new name on the top office door. Parkland’s Board is expected to name a hospital turnaround expert as the new Interim CEO.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Some Dallas County cities are getting ready to launch aerial mosquito spraying, to combat West Nile virus. School districts are also faced with protecting students from the disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Sean McCann / (cc) flickr

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins expects a majority of cities north of I-30 will sign on to aerial spraying for mosquitoes – the carriers of West Nile virus.

UT Southwestern

The quintuplets born at UT Southwestern Medical Center are all in stable condition, doctors said at a press conference today alongside the babies' parents and older brother.

dr_relling / (cc) flickr

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says he’ll meet with other officials early this week to discuss aerial spraying for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.

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