A cast of baby Kaiba's airway, with the splint around it on the right
Dr. Scott Hollister (left) and Dr. Glenn Green created the device
The ridged tube-shaped splint was sewn around Kaiba’s airway, opening up his bronchus and serving as a skeleton to guide the proper growth of more rigid cartilage
Kaiba Gionfriddo, seen here with a ventilator attachment, is the recipient of a first-of-its-kind tracheal splint
Six week-old Kaiba Gionfriddo was out at a restaurant with his family, when he stopped breathing and started turning blue. It turned out that he had a severe form of tracheobronchomalacia, a rare condition in which the trachea collapses due to flaccid supporting cartilage. Although he survived that incident, he proceeded to stop breathing on a regular basis, requiring daily resuscitation. Given the seriousness of the situation, his doctors decided to go for broke and try something new – an implanted 3D-printed tracheal support splint.
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