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Friday, July 14, 2000

Speakers to focus
on children’s brain
injuries at free

Star-Bulletin Staff


Prevention, identification and treatment of brain injuries in children will be discussed at a free conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Hawaii Convention Center.

About 1,200 people with brain injuries are discharged from rehabilitation hospitals in Hawaii annually, said Lyna Burian, president of the Brain Injury Association of Hawaii.

No breakdown is available by age but those 15 to 25 are believed to have the highest incidence of brain injuries, she said.

It's estimated that 1 million people in the United States are treated and released for traumatic brain injuries every year, according to the National Brain Injury Association.

The cost is estimated at $48.3 billion annually, with hospitalization totaling $31.7 billion and fatal brain injuries costing $16.6 billion.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of brain injuries across the country, followed by falls, which are the chief reason for brain injuries in older people.

The Brain Injury Association of Hawaii and law offices of Ian Mattoch are sponsoring the free sessions. The Violence and Brain Injury Institute of the National Brain Injury Association provided a grant for the conference.

The national association's HeadSmart Program also will hold training sessions to provide pre-qualified teachers with curriculum and materials to identify and assist children with brain injuries.

They will learn how to prevent abusive situations resulting in injuries and gain a better understanding of how the brain functions.

The conference will feature:

Bullet Dr. Cynthia Tinsley, physician in the pediatric intensive care unit of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children; pediatric neuropsychologist Thomas Merrill and neuropsychologist Harold Hall discussing effects of child abuse and violence.
Bullet Chuck Braden, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii; attorney Carl Varady and Circuit Judge Michael Town discussing prevention, liability and justice aspects of pediatric brain injury.
Bullet Bess Tanabe and Morris Kaneshiro of the Department of Education; Mary Wilson, a registered nurse; Emi Isaki and P.J. Seymour of the University of Hawaii; and George Kagawa of the Department of Health discussing treatment.
Bullet Sports and concussions will be discussed by a special panel after lunch with Ross Oshiro, athletic trainer for Roosevelt High School, pediatrician Leo Pascua and Dr. James Little of the University of Hawaii.

Space is limited for the meetings and the HeadSmart training sessions can accommodate only 50 participants.

To register or obtain more information, call 941-0372 or 523-2451.

Some travel scholarships are available for neighbor island participants.

E-mail to City Desk

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