Most of us are lucky.......we won't ever have to use an artificial limb. But for?
SV: man fitting artificial arm to patient.
CU: patient, Bert Stankey.
SV: Artificial arm being plugged in (2 shots)
CUs: operation on Stankey's stomach, with connector being moved into place (3 shots)
SV ZOOM IN CU: electrical monitors
SV: hand undergoing tests.
CU AND SV: Dr. Richard Stein speaking in English while testing arm. (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR: of artificial hand.
SV: Stankey shows how arm works.
SV: Stankey speaking in English, as he shows how the arm works. (3 shots)
SV: hand working
SV: Dr Stein speaking in English
SVs: Stankey using hand to help assemble a chair (4 shots)
BLACKSTONE: "Thousand of amputees use various kinds of artificial limbs that actually work, but Bert Stankey is probably the only man in the world, who literally plugs his artificial arm directly into his body. Electrical impulses from his brain make his hand open and close, his wrist turn.
Last October in the first operation of its kind Surgeon Lyall Davis attached fine wires to four muscles deep in Stankey's stomach. The wires pick up electrical signals from the muscles, and carry them to a connector. The connector is implanted right into Stankey's arm. A week after the operation Stankey is plugged into test equipment to measure the strength of the electrical signals in his arm. The testing is done by Dr Richard Stein, the leader of the University of Alberta team that gave Stankey his new hand.
STEIN: "O.K. Bert I want you to try to activate each of these muscles in your stomach, doing essentially what you used to do when you had a hand out there some years ago."
BLACKSTONE: "In the artificial hand, the signals have to be amplified and passed to battery powered motors, which move the wrists and fingers. Now Stankey has been using his hand for almost two months. Already it seems a part of him."
STANKEY: "I can open the hand. A can turn the wrist at the same time. I can close the hand, and turn the wrist. It's just a matter of thinking. In fact, I can do something you can't do, I can turn this wrist completely about it. You see it can go around, it goes the other way. It's just a matter of...."
STEIN: "It's exactly what you're doing. If you want to turn your wrist, you think about it, and that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm thinking about it and my muscles is what's activating it."
BLACKSTONE: "The technology is still very much in the experimental stage, but Dr. Stein sees some great possibilities."
STEIN: "In a severely disabled person say with an arm off close to the shoulder you could, maybe you could turn an elbow, a wrist a hand, really have something functional."
BLACKSTONE: "The next step for Stein and his colleagues is to give Bert Stankey some sense of feeling in his artificial hand. Wires are already attached to a major nerve inside his arm. With some additions his hand should be able to send signals back to that nerve. The signals would let Stankey know for example just how tightly he was gripping something. And his new hand would come even closer to replacing the one lost in war 34 years ago. John Blackstone CBC News Edmonton."
REPORTER: JOHN BLACKSTONE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Most of us are lucky.......we won't ever have to use an artificial limb. But for those people, who do need one there's been a dramatic breakthrough by a team of doctors at the University of Alberta in Canada. They have developed an artificial hand, which moves by taking commands directly from the brain. John Blackstone of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.