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3-D printer makes life-saving splint for baby's airway

NPR, May 24, 2013

A 3-D printer is being credited with helping to save an Ohio baby's life, after doctors "printed" a tube to support a weak airway that caused him to stop breathing. The innovative procedure has allowed Kaiba Gionfriddo, of Youngstown, Ohio, to stay off a ventilator for more than a year. The splint that changed Kaiba's life was implanted in February of 2012, when he was 3 months old. Resembling a vacuum cleaner's hose, with ridges to resist collapse, the splint is made out of bioresorbable plastics that will dissolve within three years, according to the University of Michigan doctors who developed the unique treatment. They wrote about the implant in today's issue of the .