Jan 18, 2017 | By Tess

A 3D printed heart model that helped Dutch doctors save the life of a three-month-old baby with a ventricle septum defect will soon be on display at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands. Having gone down in Dutch medical history, the 3D printed heart model has been integrated into the museum’s permanent collection thanks to director Dirk van Delft.

For those who may not remember it, the story of Jasmine, the baby with the heart defect, is an uplifting one. In late 2014, a team of Dutch doctors led by heart surgeon Mark Hazekamp operated on the then three-month-old baby, who was born with a hole between both heart ventricles, and with her aorta and pulmonary arteries attached to the right ventricle. Needless to say, the surgery was going to be complex, but also very necessary for the young child’s survival.

To help them prepare for the critical and very delicate operation, the team from the Leiden University Medical Center 3D printed a detailed heart model based on Jasmine’s CT scans. With the model in hand, Hazekamp was able to determine what type of surgery would be best, and how he could go about fixing the child’s heart defect. In the end, the surgery was a success, and Jasmine has gone on to have a healthy and plentiful childhood.

Boerhaave Museum (photo: Wikipedia)

At the time of the operation, the 3D printed heart model was a first within the world of heart surgery, so it is no wonder that the Dutch are looking to memorialize their achievement by putting the 3D printed heart on display for visitors to learn about and admire. According to the Boerhaave Museum, they inquired about including the heart in their permanent collection, and were presented with it in the presence of Jasmine and her family, as well as the doctors who treated her. For their collaboration, Jasmine’s family was given a lifetime subscription to the museum, so that they can visit the 3D printed heart whenever they please.

The Boerhaave Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of science and medicine—fitting, considering that Leiden is well known for its medical university. Currently, the museum is undergoing renovations that are geared towards making the exhibitions more interactive and engaging for visitors. It is scheduled to reopen in November 2017.

As 3D printing technologies continue to help doctors on an increasingly regular basis, becoming more and more commonplace in pre-surgical operations and even in the operating room, we are confident that Jasmine’s heart model won’t be the last 3D printed object to be inducted into the Boerhaave Museum.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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