First 3D printed “hero arm” by NHS goes to Army Veteran
A ‘Hero Arm’ has been provided to Darren “Daz” Fuller after he lost the lower part of his right arm in Afghanistan during an incident with mortar ammunition in 2008.
The British Army veteran is the first person to receive the 3D printed arm on the NHS. Darren, who now works as an outreach officer for Blesma has been getting to grips with his new grip.
The first few weeks have been a voyage of discovery. There are so many things I’m doing two-handed compared to before and so many things I’m still discovering.
The new multi-grip arm was funded through the NHS Veterans’ Prosthetics Panel and is one of several Hero Arms manufactured by Bristol-based company Open Bionics.
The arm works by picking up signals from muscles in the residual limb. When Darren flexes his muscles just below the elbow, sensors detect the naturally generated electric signals and turn them into hand movements.
The Hero Arm is currently only available to people through private clinics in the UK, US and Europe, although the company is working with the NHS on a clinical trials which could see the limbs being distributed more widely.
Image courtesy of Forces.net