Thanks to a 3d-printed airway splint, an Ohio baby with tracheobronchomalacia can live life separately from hospital machines.
“This is the first time 3D printing has been used to treat tracheobronchomalacia-at least in a human.” Now that the Food and Drug Administration has approved this innovative medical solution, how many more babies’ lives can be saved?
Doctors say tracheobronchomalacia, a birth defect which results in collapsed airways, happens “an estimated 1 in 2,100 births.” That translates to a potential 2,000 saved infants per year in the US alone.
Ohio baby Kaiba Gionfriddo and his family can now look forward to an independent, healthy life. “A slit in the side of the splint allows it to expand as Kaiba’s airway grows. In about three years, after Kaiba’s trachea has reconstructed itself, his body will reabsorb the splint as the PCL degrades.”