USC Physician Featured in New Podcast Warning Parents about Alarming Rise in Infant Head-Shape Deformities

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In the fight against flat-head syndrome, the "Move Around Baby" podcast highlights positional plagiocephaly concerns and new TOTS method of prevention.

In a new podcast available for free downloading, University of Southern California physician Dr. Ricardo Hahn warns parents about the alarming rise of infant positional plagiocephaly, a head-shaping deformity, and crucial prevention measures that parents can take to protect their babies' health.    

Dr. Hahn's Move Around Baby podcast is available for free downloading on iTunes and for streaming at Dr. Hahn's website http://www.drplagio.org.

The release of Dr. Hahn's podcast marks the launch of the educational campaign called Move Around Baby that aims to educate parents, pediatricians, and anyone else involved with infant care about the seriousness and alarming rising frequency of positional plagiocephaly and the easy steps people can take to prevent the deformity in infants.

"I decided to produce a podcast to help me shout loud and clear to all parents and members of the medical community that positional plagiocephaly is a rising problem, a very serious condition that we can no longer dismiss," said Dr. Ricardo Hahn, who has been nicknamed "Dr. Plagio" by his patients' parents. "The good news is that positional plagiocephaly can be prevented in 99 percent of possible cases. The plagiocephaly preventive techniques are easy, effective and inexpensive. The only hurdle is education."

Positional plagiocephaly is caused by continuous pressure on one part of a baby's skull, resulting in a misshaping of their head. Plagiocephaly is usually characterized by a flattening of the back of an infant's head. Often, the ears of plagiocephalic infants become lopsided, with one ear positioned closer to the face and the other positioned closer to the back of the head.

Dr. Hahn, a USC internist and the former Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, says that many of his infant patients with Plagiocephaly experience developmental delays. However, there have been no long-term scientific studies of the disorder.

Today, one in 20 infants experiences Positional Plagiocephaly according to the May 2, 2007 report in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Twenty years ago, only one in 300 babies suffered from Positional Plagiocephaly.

The sharp increase in plagiocephaly began after 1992 when parents were told to that help avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), babies should be placed on their backs, not their stomachs, for sleep. However, Dr. Plagio does NOT suggest deviating from AAP's recommendations of back sleeping, and he explains why and what parents should do in the podcast.

The podcast is part of Dr. Hahn's ongoing public education program about Positional Plagiocephaly, its research, opinions and state of the art medical tools and treatment. Visit http://www.drplagio.com for a complete rundown and to read Dr. Hahn's tips for prevention of Positional Plagiocephaly.

Dr. Hahn is interviewed by Ronnie Loaiza, for SA Stewart Communications, Inc. Loaiza is also a professional broadcast journalist, who has produced and anchored international news for major media outlets. Visit the SA Stewart Communications website at http://www.sastewart.com.

About Move Around Baby and Dr. Plagio

Move Around Baby is an educational campaign that aims to educate parents, pediatricians, and anyone else involved with infant care about the seriousness and alarming rising frequency of positional plagiocephaly and the easy steps people can take to prevent the deformity in infants.

The cornerstone of the Move Around Baby approach is TOTS, a series of four easy to remember preventative techniques parents can employ to help mitigate positional plagiocephaly. Components of the educational campaign include the website http://www.drplagio.org , free podcasts, and television and press interviews.

Move Around Baby was initiated in 2007 by Dr. Plagio (aka University of Southern California past chair of Family Medicine and family physician Dr. Ricardo Hahn). Dr. Plagio is on a mission to reduce the incidence of plagiocephaly by educating parents how to position their child to avoid deformity. Dr. Plagio spearheaded the movement to overcome what he sees as a general under-playing by the medical community on the dangers of positional plagiocephaly while being pre-occupied with the overriding imperative to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). By integrating Dr. Plagio's TOTS into the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations for preventing SIDS, parents can also prevent positional plagiocephaly 99 percent of the time.

Dr. Hahn is a board-certified family physician in practice at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Prior to joining the faculty at USC in 1995, Dr. Hahn held faculty positions at University of California San Francisco, University of Michigan, Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dr. Hahn earned an undergraduate degree and a Master's degree in Preventive Medicine at University of Washington, Seattle before attending medical school there. He completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston as well as a fellowship in Emergency Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering (AMI) at USC recently obtained FDA clearance for a Plagiocephaly Prevention Device. AMI provides intellectual property management, engineering, marketing, regulatory expertise to USC faculty members who are innovators.

For more information, please visit http://www.drplagio.org.

For Move Around Baby:
Sally Stewart
310.394.8400
Mobile: 310.480.5108

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