October 12, 2010
Phlebotomists getting ready to take your blood, or nurses about to start an IV, sometimes feel your arm to find a "good" vein. That search just went high tech at CAMC with the purchase of 25 vein finders. The AccuVein device will help reduce excessive needle sticks related to blood work and IV starts. "CAMC is the first hospital in West Virginia to acquire these," said Dr. Kathleen Mimnagh. "The devices will help users find veins easier and reduce multiple sticks for some patients. It’s simple to use. Just point the device at an area of skin and click to locate the veins beneath." Venipuncture can be particularly challenging in some patients. Difficult blood draws include those from the elderly, patients with kidney failure, vascular disease, dark skin and obese patients. "Finding a suitable vein can pose a challenge on any patient," Mimnagh said. "Once phlebotomists try the AV300 and see how much easier it can make a venipuncture, they’ll want it for every draw." The device doesn’t even touch the skin. The AV300 can be used in light or dark environments. It runs on a rechargeable battery, so there’s no need to be near an electrical outlet. Here’s how it works: Hemoglobin in the blood absorbs infrared light. When the AccuVein AV300 is held about seven inches above the skin and activated, it can detect the difference in the hemoglobin concentration between the veins and surrounding tissue, and projects a map of the veins on the skin above them. Locating the point of needle placement is instantly simplified.

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