2 IntroductionAn assistive device is any medical device that improves the treatment of a patient OR improves their condition of life.These can be used to help a patient live (i.e. insulin pump) or just simply allow a patient to live a more normal life (i.e. prosthetic limb).
3 Prosthetic LimbsA person would need a prosthetic limb if they have an injury so severe that it requires amputation.Prosthetic limbs (or artificial limbs) have been around since 300 B.C.E.The following are the types of prosthetic limbs.
4 1) Transtibial Prosthesis It replaces a leg amputated below the knee.Since the knee is retained, these amputees can regain normal leg movement faster than a transfemoral amputation.
5 2) Transfemoral Prosthesis This involves the replacement of a leg amputated above the knee.Since the knee is removed, the patient has major difficulty moving (use 80% more energy than a normal two legged walker!).Lots of occupational therapy is required
6 3) Transradial Prosthesis Replaces an arm amputated below the elbow.Two types: cable operated and myoelectric.
7 4) Transhumeral Prosthesis Replaces an arm, amputated above the elbow.Since the elbow is gone, it is hard for these amputees to regain normal movement of the arm.Again, cable and myoelectric types.
8 Measuring for a Prosthesis There is no set size for an artificial limb.The patient is measured, their “stump” is casted and a prosthetic model is made first and tested before a final product is placed on the patient.
9 Prosthetic LimbsWith the improvement of technology, prosthetic limbs are getting better, and unfortunately more expensive.Newer systems are looking at integrating the limb directly into the bone for a purer movement and less pain for the amputee.Some countries are experimenting with robotic limbs!It is a very neat concept that involves muscle reattachment, etc… good topic for an issue presentation if you ask me…
10 Other Assistive Devices There are so many other assistive devices out there that it is too much to catalog.Some of the more common ones include: hearing aids, insulin pumps, wheelchairs, crutches, braillers, etc…
11 Artificial OrgansArtificial organs fall into the grey area of assistive devices.They assist in giving a patient life, but the patient cannot live without them in many cases, which is unlike most other assistive devices.
12 Artificial OrgansThe medical definition for an artificial organ is a man-made device integrated into a patient to replace a natural organ.Some of the current artificial organs being used today include:
13 1) Artificial HeartThe 1st artificial heart to be surgically implanted (Jarvik 7) into a human patient was in 1982.That patient lived for 112 days after.
14 1) Artificial HeartIn 2006, a 15 year old Edmonton girl was given artificial heart (Berlin Heart) to replace her damaged heart.Her heart repaired its damage on its own and the artificial heart was removed 146 days after it was inserted.
15 1) Artificial HeartIn 2008, Frenchman, Alain F. Carpentier, the world’s foremost artificial heart specialist, stated that a fully implantable artificial heart made from “biosynthetic material” will be available on the market in 2013.
16 2) Brain PacemakerThese are inserted into the brain to send electrical signals used to stop things like depression, epilepsy and the tremors associated with Parkinson’s.
17 3) Cochlear implantsImplanted into the inner ear to improve hearing.
18 Where technology is going Some of the other possible artificial organs still in the testing phase include:Artificial lungsArtificial liverArtificial eyesArtificial pancreasArtificial bladderArtificial bone
19 HomeworkMake a list of 5 assistive devices you use during your daily routine.What type of prosthetic device do you think is the hardest to mimic natural movement? Why?What assistive devices do you see individuals with exceptionalities in our school using?Why do you believe some of the organs in our body may never be able to be replaced by an artificial type? Which organ(s) do you think fall into this category?