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New Mobile STAR Cranial Center of Excellence Vehicle Brings Cutting-Edge Treatment to Satellite Communities
Date:9/10/2009

DALLAS, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Orthomerica Products Inc. is taking its high tech treatment for cranial remolding on the road with the company's new Mobile STAR Cranial Center of Excellence, a vehicle equipped with the company's STARscanner -- a head shape scanning system that scans a child's head in less than two seconds. The vehicle's scanner can be easily moved for use in satellite clinics wherever the unit travels, and the van is also equipped with the necessary tools to make adjustments to STARband cranial remolding helmets.

The Mobile STAR Cranial Center of Excellence will be based at the company's Dallas STAR Cranial Center of Excellence location and will travel to satellite communities that do not normally have access to this industry-leading cranial remolding technology.

"This vehicle will allow our practitioners to travel around the Dallas metro area in an effort to increase awareness for plagiocephaly and other head shape abnormalities, and to educate pediatricians, practitioners and families of the importance of early recognition," said Bill Gustavson, Director of Operations for STAR Cranial Center of Excellence. "But more importantly, it allows us to use our STAR Cranial Center of Excellence technology, tools and expert clinical staff to reach outlying communities who otherwise would not have access to the STARscanner and STARband treatment. The mobile unit also allows us to offer some follow-up appointments in those areas so families will not have to travel to Dallas every two weeks for the duration of their child's treatment."

The Mobile STAR Cranial Center of Excellence currently visits the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - Shreveport, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana with Dr. Ghali Ghali once per month to see patients for STARband treatment.

"While there may be other scanning systems, the STARscanner is the only scanning system dedicated exclusively to head shape abnormalities," said Dr. Ghali. "It scans the child's head in a couple of seconds and is much less traumatic compared to the more commonly used plaster molds performed by other companies. This service is provided as part of our multi-disciplinary craniofacial and cleft team. My ultimate goal is to develop this into a permanent STAR Cranial Center of Excellence location serving Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana."

The STAR Cranial Center plans to increase the frequency of Shreveport visits in the near future and is working to expand the mobile unit's list of service areas, based on need and interest.

Orthomerica's STAR Cranial Centers of Excellence are a specialized provider of treatment for infants with plagiocephaly and other head shape abnormalities. In addition to the Dallas office, the STAR Cranial Center currently also has offices in Columbia, Maryland, just outside Baltimore, and in Maitland, Florida, just outside Orlando.

STAR Cranial Center of Excellence practitioners offer an unparalleled level of expertise, with the successful treatment of thousands of infants with deformational plagiocephaly and other head shape abnormalities. Because of their specialized and trusted experience, STAR Cranial Center practitioners work closely with leading pediatric neurosurgeons, and craniofacial surgeons to provide post-operative STARband treatment for infants with craniosynostosis. This condition is due to the sutures prematurely closing and requires surgical intervention followed by helmet therapy.

Plagiocephaly, which is the flattening of one side of the head, can develop as a result of babies resting for prolonged periods in one position in an infant carrier or crib. It can also be acquired as a result of in-utero positioning, common in cases of twins or multiple births. Following a referral from a pediatrician, neurosurgeon, or other specialist, infants with plagiocephaly or a related condition, such as brachycephaly or scaphocephaly, are evaluated by a practitioner at the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence, scanned with the state-of-the-art STARscanner, and treated when necessary with a STARband cranial remolding orthosis. In cases where an infant's plagiocephaly is considered mild, or if the practitioner believes the infant is young enough, the practitioner may recommend that the patient be rescanned after several weeks of repositioning efforts to see if the infant's head shape improves without STARband treatment.

STARband cranial remolding helmets, also commonly referred to as a cranial remolding orthoses or headbands, are worn 23 hours per day for three to six months, channeling head growth by applying constant, gentle contact on protruding areas of the head, while leaving room for growth in flattened areas. The helmet is adjusted every two to three weeks to account for growth and head shape changes. Infants adapt well to the STARband.

The STAR Cranial Center of Excellence exclusively uses the STARscanner system, which scans a child's head in less than two seconds. It is faster, cleaner, more accurate, and less stressful for infants than the traditional plaster casting technique. The STARscanner provides detailed measurements and objective head shape data that is helpful for the patient's family, referring physician, and practitioner to review when determining the need for treatment. The STARscanner also documents head shape changes before, during, and after treatment.

Early recognition of head shape abnormalities is critical for optimal treatment results. Treatment for plagiocephaly is most effective if begun at four to six months of age. Some physicians believe that lack of treatment can lead to developmental delays, visual impairment and misaligned ears, eyes, and jaw.

About the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence

Located in Dallas (Addison), the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence uses the latest technology to provide the highest quality cranial products and services to infants with deformational plagiocephaly. The Center exclusively uses STARband cranial remolding orthoses (helmets), manufactured by Orthomerica(R) Products, Inc. The STAR Cranial Center of Excellence also uses the most advanced technology available -- The STARscanner Laser Data Acquisition System. In addition to this location, there are currently two other STAR Cranial Centers of Excellence, one located in Maitland (Orlando), Florida and one located in Columbia (Baltimore), Maryland. For more information, please call 407.478.7223 or visit www.starcranialcenter.com

About STARband(TM)

The STARband is a custom-fabricated cranial remolding orthosis manufactured my Orthomerica Products, Inc. It can be fabricated from a 3-D head shape data, such as a scan from a STARscanner(TM) System or by taking a plaster impression. The headband is worn 23 hours a day, channeling head growth by applying constant, gentle contact on protruding areas while leaving room for growth in depressed ones. The interior is modified often to allow for growth. Head shape problems are not life threatening and are correctable if treated by 18 months of age. The STARband is the most prescribed cranial remolding orthosis in the world, with over 50,000 babies benefiting from STARband treatment since 2001.

About STARscanner(TM)

Following diagnosis, treatment formerly began by a plaster casting of the head - a 15-30 minute procedure and sometimes a messy and traumatic, process. Orthomerica's STARscanner uses safe, non-contact scanning technology to obtain precise measurements in less than two seconds and captures 3-D head shape data, accurately within 0.5 mm. Treatment is most effective when measurements are accurate and submitted promptly, enabling the helmet to be manufactured and fit in a timely period before the head shape changes further. For more information visit www.orthomerica.com.

Editor's note: a photo of the Mobile STAR Cranial Center of Excellence vehicle is available upon request.


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SOURCE Orthomerica Products, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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