UT Southwestern in the News — March 2011

Dallas Business Journal – Work under way for $800M hospital at UTSW (March 31, 2011)
UT Southwestern has started preconstruction work on an $800 million, 460-bed hospital that will create as many as 1,000 jobs when it opens in early 2015 and will attract top doctors and researchers to North Texas. University Hospital's mission is to integrate comprehensive patient care, research and education into a larger facility, said Dr. John Warner, a cardiologist and assistant vice president for hospital planning. Read More

WBAP-96.7 FM - Dallas-Fort Worth's best hospital (March 29, 2011)
U.S. News & World Report
has named UT Southwestern as the best hospital here in North Texas. UT Southwestern Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs Dr. Bruce Meyer says UT Southwestern was recognized for specialties that include the treatment of cancer and heart disease, respiratory disorders, and urology. 

Dallas Morning News – UT Southwestern Medical Center named best hospital in Dallas area (March 28, 2011)
UT Southwestern is the best hospital in North Texas, according to a study by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking aims to recognize more than 600 hospitals near major cities with a record of high performance in key medical specialties. “We are committed to excellence in all of our clinical programs,” said Dr. Daniel Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern. “It is clear that we are connected to innovation and research.” UT Southwestern ranks nationally in more of the magazine's 16 specialties than any other hospital in Dallas-Fort Worth. Baylor University Medical Center ranked second. Parkland Memorial Hospital ranked third. Read More

United Press International – Women must think ahead for home birth (March 23, 2011)

Women considering giving birth at home should plan for ways to mitigate medical risks, a U.S. obstetrician suggests. Dr. Patricia Santiago-Munoz, an obstetrician at UT Southwestern, says women with high-risk factors should not attempt at-home delivery. High-risk factors include high blood pressure, having twins, a breech birth, or being at more than 42 weeks gestation, Santiago-Munoz says. "The main thing is to make sure you have a low-risk pregnancy and that you have a physician or a certified nurse-midwife present,” she said. Read More

Dallas Morning News – Patient gives doctors a pep talk before his face transplant (March 21, 2011)
In the solemn minutes before he underwent a face transplant, Dallas Wiens summoned his doctors into his Boston Hospital room. He wanted to give them a pep talk. And to express his gratitude. Dr. Jeffrey Janis, chief of plastic surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital and associate professor of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

KXAS-TV (NBC 5) – Fort Worth dad receives full-face transplant (March 21, 2011)
Dallas Wiens, the 25-year-old father who sustained severe burns when his head touched a high voltage wire, received his long-awaited face transplant last week. Wiens was the first in the country to receive a full-face transplant, a surgery that required more than 30 physicians, nurses and anesthesiologists over 15 hours to replace his nose, lips, skin, muscles and nerves. The surgery was performed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. 

United Press International – Asthma drug reduces seasonal asthma (March 20, 2011)
An anti-asthma medication dramatically reduced increases in seasonal asthma attacks in children and young adults with allergic asthma, a U.S. researcher says. Study co-author Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, chief of allergy and immunology at UT Southwestern, and colleagues at eight other academic medical institutions found that Xolair, or omalizumab, improved asthma control, nearly eliminated seasonal exacerbations and reduced the need for controller medication when used in concert with National Institutes of Health-based treatment guidelines. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Read More

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – Radiation leaks in Japan pose little risk to U.S (March 18, 2011)
The release of nuclear radiation in Japan has some Americans so panicked that they're buying up potassium iodide supplements to prevent thyroid cancer from radiation exposure. But experts say that's completely unnecessary. U.S. residents are at little risk from any radiation release in Japan, and only people directly exposed to heavy radiation would face serious health issues, they say. John White, radiation safety officer and assistant director of environmental health and safety at UT Southwestern, comments.

Dallas Morning News – Asthma drug may help reduce symptoms in young people (March 17, 2011)
An asthma drug may help reduce the frequency of seasonal symptoms in young people, according to a recent study. Published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine, it found that inner-city children and young adults who received injections of the drug Xolair had fewer days with symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath, than subjects who received a placebo, and fewer asthma attacks. Read More

Dallas Morning News – Lawmakers press for bills to ban synthetic marijuana, cocaine (March 14, 2011)
Synthetic marijuana and cocaine that mimic the real drugs, along with the plant Salvia divinorum, would be banned under a host of bills a House committee considered Tuesday. Synthetic cannabinoids are chemically engineered substances that mimic the active ingredient in marijuana. They are sold under names such as “K2,” “genie” and “spice.” Four teenagers who used K-2 late last year required treatment for symptoms including chest pains and a racing heart, said Dr. Colin Kane, assistant professor of pediatrics and a pediatric cardiologist at UT Southwestern. Read More

Dallas Morning News – Is your child at risk of a stroke? (March 13, 2011)
Pediatric strokes are rare, and people are much less aware about them than they should be, doctors say. Especially because they are becoming more common. New research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 31 percent increase in the most common kind of strokes in boys between 5 to 14 years and a 36 percent increase among girls 5 to 14 years. Dr. Michael Dowling, an assistant professor of pediatric neurology at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

Reuters – Women who drink less may still become incontinent (March 11, 2011)
Drinking less to avoid incontinence later in life? A new study suggests it may not help. Incontinence can be caused by poor control over a full bladder or forced leaks from sneezing or laughing. Dr. Philippe Zimmern, professor of urology at UT Southwestern and who was not involved in the study, said he thinks the findings are valid, but that it would be worthwhile to examine the data in finer detail. Read More

Business Week – Fat alone, not where it sits, may be key to heart problems (March 11, 2011)
In a finding that contradicts earlier research, an international study suggests that being obese boosts the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke regardless of where the excess fat is stored in the body. That challenges the widely adopted notion that not all obesity is alike, with so-called apple-shaped people, who carry fat mainly in their midsections, facing a bigger risk for heart problems than those whose excess fat is carried on the hips or elsewhere. Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

WFAA-TV (Ch. 8) – Neighborhood barbers cut blood pressure along with hair (March 10, 2011)
Black men are 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure. They are also 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  It's a dangerous trend and it's one reason why researchers at UT Southwestern decided to figure out if they could cut the numbers. "Cut" turned out to be a key part of the solution. Researchers chose to conduct the study at 17 Dallas County barbershops, testing 1,300 clients. In some of the shops, clients with high blood pressure were only given brochures. In others, barbers had been trained to advise medical care. At the end of the study, control of hypertension in the "interventional" group of clients had risen from 33.8 percent at the start of the study to 53.7 percent at the end. Watch Video

Dallas Morning News – Chronic pain treatment trends offer hope (March 9, 2011)
Depending on a host of factors – how we're genetically hard-wired, for instance, or how our parents dealt with us when we hurt ourselves as children – pain varies from person to person. What's painful for one person might be barely noticeable for another. There's also a growing trend toward taking multidisciplinary steps when it comes to pain, says Dr. Samuel Bierner, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern and chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Read More

Dallas Morning News – Coppell teenager receives new kidney after months of waiting (March 9, 2011)
A Coppell teenager who lived without kidneys for eight months received a new one this week – donated by a woman who had committed to helping him find a donor. Jun was being treated at Children's Medical Center Dallas, which has a goal of getting children transplants within six months. But some children have been on the list for more than a year, said Dr. Amy Becker, Jun's doctor and assistant professor of pediatric nephrology at UT Southwestern. Read More

USA Today – Bursting to get your appendix removed? Hold on (March 7, 2011)
A small but growing body of evidence suggests that doctors need not rush to perform appendectomies, the most common emergency general surgical procedure in the USA. But concerns about the effect of sleep deprivation on surgeons' performance have spurred researchers to examine whether appendectomies should still be classified as emergencies. Dr. Edward Livingston, chief of gastrointestinal and endocrine surgery at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

United Press International – Cold temperatures may worsen dry eye (March 7, 2011)
Dry eye – insufficient tear production or altered tear film composition – may worsen when it's cold and windy out, U.S. researchers say. Igor A. Dovish, assistant professor at UT Southwestern, says research shows cold temperatures cause the medium – the oily substance that helps form the outermost layer of the tear film – to become too thick and stiff to spread onto the eye surface. Read More

Austin American-Statesman – Cheaper peritoneal dialysis as safe as hemodialysis, research says (March 3, 2011)
New research says that less costly peritoneal dialysis causes no more infections than hemodialysis and is much easier on the body. The study, done by UT Southwestern, found no increased risk of catheter infections and greater flexibility for patients on peritoneal dialysis. Dr. Ramesh Saxena comments. Read More

WFAA-TV (Ch. 8) – Crohn's & colitis program (March 3, 2011)
More than one million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and 30,000 more are diagnosed annually. Yet, it's unlikely you'll hear many of those diagnosed talking about what some consider an embarrassing condition. Now, there is new help for people with IBD. Inflammatory bowel disease affects people mostly between the ages of 15 to 35. For unknown reasons, it has been on the rise. UT Southwestern is hoping to figure out why with a one-of-a-kind program in Texas. Watch Video

The Dallas Morning News – Understanding the complex world of brain injuries (March 2, 2011)
Justin White remembers little about May 28, 2005. Torrential rain. His girlfriend driving them to pick up a cake for her high-school graduation party. The car hydroplaning. Other details someone else told him later. Healing of the six ribs White broke in the accident was given. Healing of the traumatic brain injury, the reason he stayed in rehab for six months, wasn't. Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, professor of neurology and director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model System at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

The Dallas Morning News – Foods that make you smarter: What's hype, what's healthy? (March 1, 2011)
You've seen the claims: “Super brain-boosting power foods!” touting items ranging from blueberries, nuts and avocados to wild salmon, dark chocolate and olive oil. Can certain foods make you smarter? In the short term, no. Can the right diet keep your brain healthier? Almost certainly, yes. But don't expect a short list of “superfoods” to do the trick. In fact, how much you eat is probably more important than what you eat. The best advice that Dr. Bernadette Latson, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern, can offer is this: Avoid a big meal if you need to maximize your mental performance. Read More