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Boy regains his hand thanks to 3D printing

By Yao Xinyu (People's Daily Online)    13:57, November 18, 2015
Boy regains his hand thanks to 3D printing
Xiaohu plays with his new 3D printed left hand. (Photo/Youth.cn)

At Wuhan No.3 Hospital, Xiaohu used a 3D printed hand the first time since his amputation two years ago, Nov. 17, 2015. Xiaohu’s father Liu Tao was delighted to see his son able to hold and grasp with his left hand again. Xiaohu became the first burn amputee in China to receive a 3D printed hand.

In October 2013, unattended 3-year-old Xiaohu fell into a fire pit. The fire left him with burns to 45 percent of his body, and his left hand was so severely burned that the doctor had to perform an amputation. Xiaohu’s parents had moved away for work when the accident happened. They have felt regret for these last two years.

In May this year, Xiaohu’s parents got a phone call informing them that a famous burns expert and his team would be able to give Xiaohu a new “hand” by using the latest 3D printing technique. Because of the special condition of burn amputees, 3D printing can provide a more realistic artificial limb according to a patient’s specific situation.

After Xiaohu put on the 3D printed hand, he was soon able to grasp things, and even ride a bike. Compared with regular artificial hands, the 3D printed one is more economic and easier to use, and the sustained exercise avoids atrophy from disuse.

For Xiaohu, the significance of this 3D printing hand is not just physical, it means much more mentally. Xiaohu is still to start school, meaning the psychological shadow that amputation brought is still controllable. The 3D printed hand can help him build self-confidence and reduce the possibility of mental illness in the future. 


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Liang Jun)

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