As a medical professional, chances are you’ve had to deal with your fair share of “hard sticks” – those patients who, for one reason or another, have veins that are tough to find. With years of practice, an experienced phlebotomist will come up with a repertoire of tricks for finding those evasive vessels.
It’s an art, and it takes finesse.
But what about an easier way? Something to ensure that every member of the medical team, experienced or not, can be sure to get a good stick every time?
Vein viewers have made a big impact in the medical field. They reduce the time and frustration of hard sticks for both medical professionals and patients. But how do they work?
Read on to learn the ins and outs of vein finders and determine whether they can help your medical practice.
Vein Viewer Fundamentals
A vein viewer is a hand-held device that projects a map of the patient’s veins on the surface of the skin.
The basic principle of vein viewers is that they use the differing light absorption between blood and the surrounding tissue to show users where blood is flowing. Hemoglobin has greater light absorption than the surrounding tissue.
The device emits near-infrared light (NIR) onto the body and interprets the light reflected back by surrounding tissue. It then projects an image onto the body in real-time to highlight the veins.
With a map of the patient’s veins clearly displayed in front of you, getting a good, clean puncture is vastly simplified.
Benefits of Using a Vein Viewer
Vein finder devices can make a big difference in medical practice.
Practitioners who are relatively new to phlebotomy will have more confidence and greater success with venipuncture. This gives them a jump start in gaining experience.
Having the vein finder light up the blood vessels visually will also make patients more comfortable. They will be sure that the practitioner won’t struggle to get a good stick.
The benefits are particularly evident in patients with edema, rolling veins, the elderly, children, and other individuals with veins that are hard to see.
How to Use a Vein Viewer
Vein finder devices are simple to use. They can be held by a practitioner or mounted on floor stands, desk mounts, or mobile support arms. With the device illuminating the desired area, the practitioner can freely target veins they would otherwise be unable to see.
Some devices are able to be adjusted for different visualizations to make the process even easier. The color, brightness, and image size can be modified to whatever suits the user.
Can Vein Viewers Help My Practice?
With the clear benefits of using vein viewers and their high ease of use, it’s clear that they can be of utility to nearly any medical practice. If your medical team performs venipuncture on a daily basis, it’s worth looking into acquiring a vein viewer.
If you’re interested in learning more about the devices or how to buy one, click here.