ETZ: Research on the benefits of 3D printing in a trauma hospital

Within 24 hours we have our 3D printed part ready to give to the surgeon to ensure a proper care
and a good evaluation for the surgery I am Lars Brouwers, I am a surgical resident in training And furthermore I am a medical researcher I investigate the added value of 3D printing in
complex fractures, and especially acetabular fractures The Elisabeth-TweeSteden hospital is a major level one
trauma center in the southern part of the Netherlands and we take care of almost
all the heavily injured patients and they arrive on a daily basis
by helicopter or by ambulance We know it is very hard to understand
the fracture patterns of complex fractures by using only 2DCT or X-ray We started to print with the Ultimaker Our goal was to investigate if 3D printing can be
of added value in classifying acetabular fractures Because of the classification some people
will take other steps or other types of surgery It works like this: the patient arrives in
our hospital by helicopter or ambulance Once we investigated the patient we will make a
CT-scan and a X-ray of the injured part of the patient Once the CT is ready we have got our DICOM files Within 5 or 10 minutes our DICOM files are ready to
convert into a STL file, and finally into a 3D printed file So within half an hour after arriving of the patient
in the hospital our Ultimaker is up and running Within 24 hours the print is ready to give to the surgeon
or resident to ensure a good evaluation for the surgery We need to explain the operation to the patient using X-ray and 2DCT can be very hard for the patient to
understand what is going to happen in his or her body and with help of a 3D printed model we think that
our explanation can be more clear, can be better and a patient has got a better
understanding of what we are doing and what he or she has to do after the operation The most important conclusions of our
research is that 3D printing is of added value We measure the classification in terms of
intraobserver agreements and we call it Kappa a Kappa of 0 means that there is
no agreement over the classification a Kappa of 1 means that there is a
total agreement between the observers We noticed that when using X-ray and 2DCT the most experienced surgeons and
the students only reached a Kappa of 0.2 But when they used 3D printed models
they reached a Kappa of almost 0.7 which internationally can be seen as a good
interobserver agreement between the observers That is really showing us that 3D printing can be of
added value, especially for the younger generation By doing a lot of research we hope that we can
prove that 3D printing can be of added value in patient satisfaction in surgical satisfaction in reduction of operation time and in the health related quality of life for the patient because that is the most important thing

7 thoughts on “ETZ: Research on the benefits of 3D printing in a trauma hospital

  1. Hi! Yes we are using Philips intellispace portal to convert dicom files directly info stl files. This is in-hospital software. If you have more questions or remarks please contact me on Twitter: Brouwers_3D.

  2. really cool to see this..
    would be great if i could buy a upgrade kit for my UM2 and upgrade to the UM3 using the printhead from the UM3 🙂 for the rest the belts and case looks the same .. hmm software would be a issue i think..
    anyway groeten daar Lars

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