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Young doctors will learn, and parents will be able to better understand the heart defects of their unborn child – an obstetrician and gynaecologist from Cracow and his team have developed and printed a 3D model of the foetal heart.

The 3D foetal heart model

A small thing making a big change

It looks a bit like a toy, but it will help diagnose as many as 29 of the most common heart defects while still in the womb.

It is the first such detailed 3D model in the world, and it is already in use at courses and training for obstetricians. The ones previously manufactured were not very accurate, but this one shows exactly what you can also see on the ultrasound camera.

Stimulating the three-dimensional understanding will increase the detection of foetal heart defects – says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Marcin Wiecheć – the creator of the 3D model.

As it was in the case of Zuzia, who was accurately diagnosed in the 21st week of her mom’s pregnancy. Immediately after birth she received the proper medications and care.

Doctors have been guided to immediately place the child under proper care – says Zuzia’s mother.

The human heart is a difficult organ to examine, and, unfortunately, not always its defects are detected.

Heart defects are one of the most common defects that occur in foetal life. Because it is a moving organ, it is therefore considered difficult to test – says Dr Agnieszka Nocuń.

According to Professor Janusz Skalski, director of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, University Children’s Hospital in Cracow, with the model it is easier to explain to parents what and why you need to operate. Showing them the model will facilitate the doctors’ work, because it is easier than translating the medical jargon and making drawings.

At the moment, there is only a 3D model of a healthy foetal heart, but 29 more, each showing a different heart defect, will be created as well.

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