3D printing in hospitals: Newcastle NHS trust expands additive horizons

3D printing in hospitals in Newcastle (UK) is set to change as a new in-house printing facility is announced by the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Aug 27, 2019
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axial3D (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UK) have announced a new, embedded 3D printing lab, set to expand UK horizons for 3D printing in hospitals.

Orthopedic and spinal surgeons will benefit from immediate access to point-of-care, patient-specific 3D printing in hospitals via an on-site 3D printing laboratory, as well as support from medical 3D printing company, axial3D.

The automated, patient-specific printing platform will reportedly allow clinicians to dedicate more time to focus on patient care, while providing customized models for use in pre-operative planning and in achieving patient consent.

The Royal Victoria Infirmary (Newcastle, UK) will host the embedded printer in the hospital for on-site use, with additional prints ordered via the axial3D head office. This will allow for clinicians and surgical teams based at the Newcastle hospitals to develop and adapt 3D printing ordering processes in response to evolving patient needs.

The decision to embed the 3D printing in-hospital facility follows observed reductions in surgical procedure time and overall costs when 3D printed patient-specific models have been applied. In a case involving a patient suffering with Spinal Bifida alongside a severe kyphotic deformity, Andrew Bowey (Spinal Surgeon, Newcastle Hospitals) reported saving 120 minutes in the operating room: axial3D further claimed that this equated to approximately £8000 GBP (accurate at time of print; 27/08/2019).

Bowey also suggested that the 3D printed model further contributed to reduced blood loss, improved communication among the surgical team and a higher quality patient experience, adding:

“3D printing has become an essential part of pre-operative planning in complex spinal cases. In Newcastle, we’re excited to now roll 3D printing out across the trust. The benefits in other areas, such as trauma, are clear to see.”
Daniel Crawford, CEO (axial3D) explained, “The Orthopedic and Spinal teams at Newcastle Hospitals have an international reputation for their ground-breaking work on complex conditions. We are excited to be working closely with the team to assist in making medical 3D printing routine practice within the Trust, to ultimately help improve the quality of patient care across the region."  
“3D printing is revolutionizing how we deliver patient care. axial3D has created a cost-effective and easy method for hospitals such as Newcastle to provide this technology to their patients, without impacting day to day workloads. We warmly welcome Newcastle to the growing number of institutions who have selected axial3D as their medical 3D printing partner across the world,” Crawford concluded.

Source and featured image: www.axial3d.com/blog/newcastle-hospitals-set-to-transform-patient-care-with-new-3d-print-lab/

Find out more about axial3D, a proud partner of 3DMedLIVE: 3D printing in surgery, at: www.axial3d.com 

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What is the difference between in-house and outsourced 3D printing?

In-house 3D printing refers to 3D printing laboratories embedded in a hospital or in an institution as part of a ‘Trust’ or group of hospitals. In these cases, a consultant or engineer is able to send 3D patient data directly to a team responsible for printing objects for that hospital, Trust or group, facilitating reduced long-term costs and a quick turnaround.

Outsourced 3D printing requires the consultant or engineer to send the file to a company to handle the printing and processing of the 3D printed object. This removes the financial burden of investing in building an embedded 3D printing lab in the first place, as well as any costs associated with training staff up to the required standard for medical 3D printing.

What are the benefits of 3D printing in hospitals?

3D printing in hospitals can aid medical professionals in many different areas, particularly in surgery. Surgeons, for example, are able to print patient-specific models, tools and customized recovery tools to improve a patient’s overall experience of surgery, for example.

How are 3D printed patient-specific models used?

3D printed patient-specific models have many applications. Customized models are capable of accurately representing a patient’s anatomy and pathology, aiding informed consent, patient understanding and overall patient experience.

3D printed patient-specific models are also increasingly being used in the training of surgeons, as well as in the preparation of surgical teams for complex procedures.

>> Hear more about 3D printing and patient experience with surgery

What does point-of-care mean?

Point-of-care, in the context of 3D printing technologies, refers to the quick and easy access to 3D printing to aid a clinician in making fast and informed decisions about patient care. Point-of-care 3D printing could be relevant to complex procedure surgical planning in a hospital, but is best exemplified in dental practice: dentists are already able to print custom-designed crowns at the patient’s chairside.

>> Find out more about 3D printing in dentistry

How do I start my 3D printing lab?

For more information about how to start your 3D printing lab, check out the 3DMedLIVE 2019: 3D printing in surgery website and get your ticket, today! 

Have any additional questions about this story? Ask us in the comments, below. 

Georgi Makin

Editor, Future Science Group

I am the Editor of 3DMedNet, so please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any queries or comments. You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest updates: @GeorgiMakin

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