A team of volunteers from Vancouver Island recently returned to Ukraine to provide continued support for those living in the war zone. Included in that group, for the first time, were B.C. experts in the field of prosthetics.
In western Ukraine, B.C. biomedical engineering is getting a real-world test, fitting a prosthetic wrist and hand onto an amputee and including showing the patient how to use it. Those prosthetics recently fitted to amputees in Ukraine had their origin on the University of Victoria campus with a charity called the Victoria Hand Project.
While the program has been helping amputees in resource-poor countries for years, the war in Ukraine has created an entirely new population in need.
“There are a lot of limbs lost in Ukraine right now,” said Nick Dechev, with the Victoria Hand Project. “There’s going to be a great number of people that are going to try to get back to some sense of normalcy and Victoria Hand Project can help them very quickly and very efficiently.”
Part of that is how the prosthetics are made, using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology. In the past, amputees might have faced long waits for custom prosthetics. Victoria Hand can take measurements and custom-build them on the spot.
On its recent trip to Ukraine, the group fitted five amputees and left equipment and instructions to help many more. “We equip (Ukrainians) with 3D printers, 3D scanners, and all the tools they need to build the devices,” Dechev said.
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Source : https://globalnews.ca/news/9512150/vancouver-island-charity-prosthetics-ukrainian-amputees/