- Texas Teen Dies After Amoeba Enters Brain
- Texas AG To Shut Down Unlicensed North Austin Assisted Living Facility
- Student Contracts First Case Of Rubella In Texas Since 2004
- Mom Starts Movement To Save Lives Using Kindness
- Need For Blood Donations Increased Due To Rise In Traumatic Car Crashes
- Texas Records 4th Death This Year Linked To West Nile Virus
- Man Blames Austin Clinic For Loss Of Testicle
- Dr. James 'Red' Duke, Once-Familiar TV Doctor, Dead At 86
- Officials Confirm Dallas Resident Died Of West Nile Virus
- Students Miss Part Of First Day Of Class To Get Vaccines
- State Program Fails To Reduce Obesity At Texas Schools
- Austin Mom says Glass in Baby Wipes Injured Her Son
- Fluoridation Fight Heats Up In Austin And San Marcos
- El Paso Abortion Clinic Set To Become Texas' First To Reopen
- FDA Approves Female Sex Pill, But With Safety Restrictions
- Leander Boy Acts FAST To Save Grandma From Stroke
- FDA approves OxyContin for children 11 and older
- Austin Breast Milk Bank Recruiting Donors
- Solutions For Health Inequality In Austin
- West Nile Season Expected to Hit in Coming Weeks
- Local emergency room sees rise in heat related illness
- Alabama Health Officials OK Blue Bell Sales
- San Marcos Water Customers North Of Blanco River Under Boil Water Notice
- Guidelines Help Keep Student Athletes And Musicians From Getting Sick As Temps Soar
- FDA bans some Mexican cilantro after feces found in fields
- Flea Population Exploding Due To Recent Rains
- Snake Bite Deaths Rare
- New FDA Approved Injectable Dissolves Chin Fat
- Abbott: Texas Won't Legalize Medicinal Or Recreational Pot
- Rep. Spitzer Responds To Criticism Over Abstinence Education
- Texas Army Veteran Supports Medical Marijuana Legislation
- Justices Sharply Divided Over Health Care Law Subsidies
- Listeria Found In Blue Bell Plant In 2013
- Vaccinations Don't Stop After High School
- Kyle's Youth Ban On E-Cigs Proposed As State Law
- Miller Defends Deep Fryers In Agriculture Address
- Future Of ACA Subsidies In Texas Unclear After Rulings
- Women's Groups Blast Supreme Court Ruling On Contraception
- Austin Regional Clinic Strengthens Vaccination Policy
- Travis Co. Hit Hardest in Texas Cyclospora Outbreak
- 2 Cases of Chikungunya Reported In Central Texas
- Food For Families Food Drive kicks off June 15!
- PTSD treatment Bravemind set to deploy in Texas
- Austin Man Receives World's First Ever Skull, Scalp Transplant
- Woman Loses Eyesight From Cat Lick
- Man Who Caught Listeria-Related Meningitis Sues Blue Bell
- Blue Bell Closing All 3 Creameries For Training, Cleaning
- Unusual Ice Cream Recalls Raise Questions About Cause
- CDC: 10 Listeria Illnesses Now Linked To Blue Bell Foods
- Blue Bell Suspends Operations At Oklahoma Production Plant
Sickest Flu Victims Face ICU Equipment Shortages
Travis County has had nine flu related deaths this season, for a total of 11 deaths in Central Texas.
In this especially bad flu season there's now a shortage of equipment that helps save patients suffering with the flu.
Dr. Jordan Weingarten is the medical director for Seton Medical Center's intensive care unit. Weingarten says he's never seen so many healthy young patients end up in ICU, hooked up to respirators because of the flu.
"We've never seen anything like this," he says.
Some cases are so severe even respirators aren't working and patients need to be hooked up to artificial lung machines called ECMO.
"This keeps patients alive or helps them stay alive until their lungs hopefully clear up from the infection of the flu," Weingarten said.
Seton Medical Center also uses special beds that can rotate patients onto their stomachs to help clear the lungs -- but the problem is the supply for both the beds and the lung machines are limited.
"We actually have run out of the beds the company that provides them have been in short supply. There have been waiting lists for them and patients have had to wait," Weingarten said.
In some cases patients had to be sent elsewhere.
"We had a helicopter come in from San Antonio. The patient was transported to Houston where they did have an extra bed," Weingarten said.
Weingarten worries what will happen if the number of flu patients continues to climb because Seton Medical Center only has six lung machines available.
"In all honesty there's the risk that if there's not enough equipment someone will die. This is a bad situation we are in right now," Weingarten said.
By Rachel Kent