New 3D Printing Technology Could Offer Hope for Accident Victims
A revolutionary new procedure could offer hope for those who suffer disfiguring head and facial injuries in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, falls and other accidents. Many people are unfamiliar with revolutionary new computer printers that are reportedly able to reproduce 3D objects. The capability of these devices is so sophisticated that lawmakers recently took up the issue of banning firearms made with this new 3D printer technology because it could result in people printing unlicensed firearms in their home. While this application of this new technology has been controversial, application of a 3D printer to replace the crushed portion of an injury victim’s skull offers hope for serious head and facial injury victims.
The Chinese man who received the 3D skull replacement made of printed titanium suffered a devastating head injury during a fall. Hu’s head crashed into a pile of lumber when he fell three stories while working on a construction project. The fall collapsed a significant portion of his skull causing brain damage, vision impairment, and loss of the ability to talk and write. Doctors and experts from around the world evaluated Hu; they determined that the best way to restore a sense of normalcy to his life was to replace the crushed part of his skull with a 3D printed titanium replacement. While the procedure immediately restored the symmetrical appearance of his head, the more significant result is that doctor believe that his brain will grow and repair itself within the increased space. Doctors have speculated that Hu may eventually recover some of his lost ability to communicate.
Although this is one of the first transplants from 3D printing, there are a number of other examples that demonstrate how this technology might improve the quality of life for those who suffer severe head injuries and facial disfigurement. Earlier this year, a woman was fitted with a plastic cranium from a 3D printer. The procedure was necessary because the woman had a rare form of cancer that made her skull grow abnormally thick. Without the transplant, the cancer would have eventually caused her death. The FDA also recently approved implants for facial reconstruction. Medical researchers also are exploring the possibility of 3D printer technology as an option for replacement of organs, veins and skin.
While Hu’s skull injury was the result of a construction accident, skull and facial fractures are often caused by a range of accidents including:
- Car crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls and trip and falls
- Firearm injuries
- Domestic violence
- Elder abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Blunt force trauma
When severe skull and facial fractures occur in these types of incidents, the injuries are often the result of one or more negligent parties, such as drunk drivers, careless store owners, indifferent nursing home staff or administrators and others. A personal injury judgment can help victims that suffer severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) obtain the best possible medical care, which includes taking advantage of these types of advances in medical technology. Financial recovery can provide a path for injury victims to maintain the highest post-injury quality of life.
If you or your loved one has suffered a serious injury in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle crash or fall on the premises of another, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
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