Day 86 – Lending a Helping (Prosthetic) Hand

Ability Lab – Facts About Limb Loss: Worldwide, access to prosthetic care is limited. The World Health Organization estimates that 30 million people are in need of prosthetic and orthotic devices — yet more than 75 percent of developing countries do not have a prosthetics and orthotics training program in place, often leading to poorer clinical coverage of patients.

Access Prosthetics – Limb loss is much more common than many people realize, and the numbers are growing. 

  • There are more than 1 million annual limb amputations globally – one every 30 seconds
  • There are 2.1 million people living with limb loss in the USA, and that number is expected to double by 2050
  • 185,000 people have a amputation each year. This means that 300 to 500 amputations are performed every day
  • African Americans are four times more likely to have an amputation than White Americans

ISHN: More than 3 million people in the USA have a disability in their hands and/or forearms, including paralyzations, orthopedic impairments, either congenital or injury related. Every week 2,996 people lose a limb. The most common is partial hand amputation with loss of one or more fingers – over 60,000 a year. 60% of arm amputations occur on patients between ages 21 and 64 years, and 10% are under 21 years of age.

Mcopro: How much does a prosthetic arm or hand cost? Without insurance, you can expect to pay around $5,000 for a cosmetic prosthetic, up to $10,000 for a functional prosthetic with a hook, and between $20,000 to $100,000 for the latest myoelectric arm technology.

Prescouter: According to the American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association, the average prosthetic costs between $1,500 to $8,000. This expense is often paid out of pocket rather than covered by insurance. By contrast, a 3D printed prosthetic costs as little as $50!  3D printed prosthetics can also be made much quicker; a limb can be made in a day. Furthermore, consumers can easily customize their purchases, which is another enticing factor for kids. Children can pick out colors and styles to fit their wants and needs.

e-Nable: An online global community of “Digital Humanitarian” volunteers from all over the world who are using their 3D printers to make free and low-cost prosthetic upper limb devices for children and adults in need. The open-source designs created by e-NABLE volunteers help those who were born missing their fingers and hands or who have lost them due to war, natural disaster, illness or accidents.

There are approximately 20,000 e-NABLE volunteers in over 100 countries who have delivered free hands and arms to an estimated 8,000 recipients through collaboration and open-source design to help those in underserved communities who have little to no access to medical care.

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