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Mackay becomes first regional hospital to use 3D printer

Mackay Base Hospital is the first regional hospital in Queensland to use a 3D printer to improve outcomes for patients with complex fractures.

Real-size replicas can be printed from the machine, using converted images of the bone taken during a CT scan.

The 3D models will help surgeons understand a complicated fracture and plan its repair, including what is needed to bring the bone back into alignment and stabilisation.

Printed models will also be used to explain upcoming surgery to patients, and the model can then be sterilised for taking into the operating theatre.

Mackay is the only hospital outside Brisbane and the Gold Coast to use a 3D printer in this way.

The 3D printer was purchased by the Private Practice Trust Fund through the Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation.