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RP 4 Baghdad project started

Materialise NV : 09 June, 2005  (New Product)
Less than a month after the key-players of the Rapid Prototyping industry announced the founding of the humanitarian project 'RP 4 Baghdad' is the very first medical model a fact and is the first surgery performed. The project offers free medical support in the form of software, medical models and medical equipment for surgeons in Iraq. On June 5th, a team of Iraqi specialists successfully performed the very first surgery.
In the difficult circumstances of a war zone, 3 dimensional medical models are of even greater importance than in normal life. These models, made on basis of scanned medical data, are important tools for surgeons to plan complex crania-facial operations.

First, patients have to go through a CT scan in a medical center. In Iraq this does not approve to be a simple task. The start of this project was already delayed because a car bombing destroyed the first available scanner.
The CT-data is processed with the Mimics software of Materialise. Starting from a virtual models, a physical models is built. Consecutively these models are shipped to surgeons in Iraq, who use these replicas's to prepare the surgery and to practice specific operative movements.

Case description
The first patient, a 42-year-old man, was trapped in an ambush on the road to Jordan and was shot several times in the jaw and neck region. The medical data was shipped by courier and arrived at a European medical model-manufacturing site on May 30th. The data was checked and segmented and the medical model was built on the evening of May 31st. The model was shipped back to Baghdad by DHL on June1st, where it arrived on June 3rd. The planned operation date was set back by 1 day to Sunday June 5th, allowing the doctors to receive the model first , practice on it and step with much more confidence through the complex surgery.

Last Sunday the operation was performed successfully by Dr. Ammar al-Jawadi (specialist maxillo-facial surgeon) and Dr. Hashim A. Samir (specialist diagnostic radiology).

The participating doctors are enthusiastic about the possibilities these models offer them and another patient is already getting prepared for scanning.
Complete information about every aspect of the project are available at Accurate descriptions of the status of all daily work are updated regularly. Medical cases are described in such a way patient data are kept anonymous. All financial data including contributions of the sponsors and detailed expenses will be listed in the financial section. All contributions go directly to the patients and the medical staff in Iraq.

The major players in the RP industry have given their commitment to support the center with free software for the production of models, free models and a necessary working capital. Additional sponsors are welcome and encouraged to join this humanitarian effort.
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