Brookings Health implements vein visualization technology

Brookings Health System photo: Laboratory Medical Technologist Erin Stevenson prepares to draw a patient’s blood using the new AccuVein visualization technology which helps locate a patient’s blood vessels. For patients with difficult to see veins, blood draws and IV starts may take several sticks by a care provider. By illuminating the veins, a care provider improves accuracy and reduces patient discomfort. The new vein visualization technology was made possible by funds from Brookings Health System Foundation.

BROOKINGS – Brookings Health System recently implemented new vein visualization technology to help health care professionals find the best blood vessels for IV starts and blood draws. The technology will increase care satisfaction for patients with difficult to see veins.

People most likely to have difficult veins include pediatric, elderly, obese and dark-skinned patients as well as those with chronic illness or long-term IV drug therapy. For those patients, care providers at Brookings Health now use the portable AccuVein vein finder to visually map blood vessels. The vein finder shows blood vessels in real-time on the skin surface by shining near-infrared (NIR) light. The resulting image gives care providers an accurate visualization of the veins, allowing them to successfully place IVs and draw blood.

“Our nurses and medical laboratory scientists want to avoid patient pain and discomfort by all means possible,” said Medical Surgical & Emergency Department Director Karen Weber. “An IV start or blood draw may take several tries when a patient has blood vessels that are difficult to locate. Vein visualization technology has been clinically proven to improve first stick success when starting an IV or drawing blood, reducing discomfort, pain, stress and anxiety.”

Over 330 million IVs are placed each year in the U.S., taking on average between two to three attempts to establish an IV site. Vein visualization technology increases the likelihood of a successful first attempt by 3.5 times.

The new vein visualization technology was made possible by funds from Brookings Health System Foundation. The Foundation works to cultivate philanthropic gifts to support equipment and technology upgrades, like the new vein finder, as well as other health care needs. To learn more about how you may contribute, contact Foundation Director Sara Schneider at [email protected] or visit brookingshealth.org/Foundation.

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