Despite all this talk about the plastic guns that can be created by a 3D printer, this incredible technology can also accomplish extraordinary achievements in medicine. In fact, a tiny airway splint was created by a 3D printer and saved a three-month-old baby’s life.

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Kaiba was born with a rare respiratory condition, affecting about 1 of 2.200 babies, which caused his airways to collapse and the loss of the ability to breathe on his own.  Despite the fact that he was intubated, he needed to be resuscitated on a daily basis. According to the mother, “quite a few doctors said he had a good chance of not leaving the hospital alive“.

When he was three months old, the doctors implanted a tube they “printed out” in Kaiba. It was the first time this had been done. Suddenly, the little boy was able to breathe on his own for the first time. The device is meant to dissolve after about three years. By that time, the splint will no longer be needed.
Now, he is 20 months old and about to get his tracheotomy tube removed because he doesn’t need the breathing machines anymore. In fact, he hasn’t had a single breathing crisis since the operation was done.