This 3D-printed heart helped save a baby’s life

Oct 17, 2014

Image: Matthew’s Hearts of Hope via 3D Print

By Fiona MacDonald

A 3D-printed heart has helped to save the life of a two-week-old baby, who was being treated at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in Manhattan for congenital heart defects (CHD).

The near-perfect replica wasn’t used for a transplant, but rather to help doctors practice the extremely difficult procedure that helped save the baby’s life.

The infant was suffering from abnormalities such as holes and unusually formed chambers, which can be corrected with surgery – but until doctors actually cut a patient open, they don’t know exactly what they’re dealing with, so these operations are extremely complex and risky.

Using this model, the team was able to plan out the operation in advance and even practice it.

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