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Surgeons worldwide gather online to discuss treatments for trauma

AKRON, Ohio, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A sad but universal truth is that children, no matter where they live in the world, are always at risk for injury.

A March 21 GlobalCastMD trauma symposium – an interactive television show produced at Akron Children's Hospital and streamed through the Internet – will bring together upwards of 800 physicians to share ideas on how to best treat injured children, with a strong focus on hospital preparedness for mass casualties.

"The information we exchange Thursday could very well save a child's life on Friday," said Todd Ponsky , MD, a pediatric surgeon at Akron Children's and founder of GlobalCastMD. "It's happened at our previous conferences and, once again, we will have numerous doctors joining us from third world countries. In some parts of the world, doctors have to rely on textbooks that are 10 years old. Our format removes the challenges of time, distance and travel expense, and gives everyone access to key opinion leaders as long as they have a computer in their home or office."

Dr. Ponsky will moderate, along with Wayne Meredith , MD, of Wake Forest University and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, and Martin Eichelberger , MD, of George Washington University and Children's National Medical Center.

They will facilitate the discussion from a studio at Akron Children's, while an additional 14-member faculty will be joining online from as far as England and France to present research, new techniques and case studies. Hundreds of participants – most likely representing the seven continents – will follow along on their computers.

"It's not a webinar," noted Dr. Ponsky. "This format allows for three-way learning. The presenters teach and participants can call or email questions. Participants can chat amongst themselves. It's much more engaging."

Several faculty members have experience treating children injured in land mines and terrorist attacks, and a good number have military medical experience.

Since starting GlobalCastMD in 2011, Dr. Ponsky has learned much from colleagues he would not normally have the opportunity to meet in person at medical conferences in the United States.

"Geography is no longer an issue in bringing the world together to learn," he said.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. Follow the discussion on Twitter at @globalcastmd using the hashtag #pedstrauma2013.

SOURCE Akron Children's Hospital
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