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C-Sections and Medical Information Overload: Thursday’s show (April 23, 2015)

Dr. Donald Prough, Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB Health, is currently testing a new technology he hopes will cut down on the number of Caesarean section deliveries being performed today. Since 1985, the World Health Organization has recommended no more than 10  to 15 percent of live births be performed via C-section. But […]

Dr. Donald Prough, Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB Health, is currently testing a new technology he hopes will cut down on the number of Caesarean section deliveries being performed today. Since 1985, the World Health Organization has recommended no more than 10  to 15 percent of live births be performed via C-section. But the average rate of first-time Caesarean section deliveries in Texas is 23.8 percent.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Dr. Prough about his efforts, and we welcome your questions for Houston area obstetrician Dr. Joanie Hare, who chairs the Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait committee of the March of Dimes. She’ll help dispel some lingering myths about C-sections.

Then we discuss what happens when we have too much medical information at our disposal. In a Greater Houston community that includes the Texas Medical Center, and other resources of vast medical expertise, right here, at our disposal — not to mention easy access to basic informational resources like WebMD — do we risk medical information overload? Where’s the line between empowered “e-patient” and hypochondriac? We ask Peter Killoran, Assistant Professor of  Biomedical Informatics and Anesthesiology at the UT Health Science Center at Houston.

Also this hour: Longtime Congressman Barney Frank visited Houston recently, as part of a tour promoting his new memoir Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage. He dropped by our studios to talk about the recent fallout from Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act and why the congressman pursued politics in the first place.

And: Houston author Katherine Center admits her novels tend to follow a pattern — from tragedy to triumph. She says she’s more interested in how people put their lives back together than in how people’s lives fall apart. Her latest novel, Happiness for Beginnersreflects that interest, as she tells Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty.

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