3D Printer for children with congenital heart disease "When the doctors let us hold Archie's 3-D heart, we were stunned. To think that with the help of this technology and the doctor's skill, it saved our 4 day old son's life" Project Summary Once a newborn baby has been diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD), doctors are able to identify and diagnose general defects by using non invasive tests to record heart activity, X-Rays or blood tests to identify any general issues; or they would need to use Coronary Angiography and Cardiac Catheterization, which are both invasive and unpleasant procedures. How you can help! With the use of a cardiac 3D printer, doctors can easily scan the patient's heart, using non invasive means like a CT scan or a MRI; creating a detailed blueprint of the organ, which can then be sent over to the 3D printer. This machine will go on to create an identical plastic model of the heart, offering an incredibly in depth look at the heart, any and all defects and the tiniest of imperfections. As its a plastic model, surgeons are able to cut open and analyse the model, and sew it back together with ease.Thanks to how detailed these models are, these plastic models can not just be used for training purposes for trainee surgeons, but can also be used to develop more precise and efficient surgery techniques, without having to use live patients. How this improves cardiac care The use of this new and cutting edge technology, means that surgeons can meticulously plan any operations necessary and completely minimise the amount of invasive operations and procedures that the child will undergo throughout its life. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause for death in the UK, and we recognise that having a child with this condition leads to devastation for the whole family. Being able to maximise efficiency and offer such respite to the families with the technology used is vital to not only the general wellbeing of the patient and their family, but also to the recovery and living stage, after diagnosis and surgery. We view this as a hugely important project to get funding for and just this one project will not only ensure far better results and chances of survival for children born with CHD, but will also alleviate pressure and mental problems from the families of these patients.