As a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and an insulin dependent diabetic, I can attest to how often emergency personnel, nurses, and phlebotomists struggle to find your vein. Whether you are in the back of a moving ambulance with paramedics and EMTs jostling around to apply various life-saving skills or a phlebotomists at a blood donation center, the difficulty of inserting a needle to open an IV line or to draw blood is surprisingly frequent. And although we’d all like to blame the studied cool of the one holding the needle while enduring multiple jabs to the arm, the fault lies on the differences in human anatomy that determine whether or not you have easy to find veins.
Fortunately, a new device is currently being tested at the Chatswood and Elizabeth Street Donor Centres in Sydney that uses a noninvasive infrared light to find and pinpoint the exact location of your veins. In an interview with Techly, senior researcher Dr. Dan Waller explains how the Centres’ “vein visualisation technology uses near infrared technology to project an image of the vein onto the skin. Veins have a lot of deoxygenated haemoglobin that absorbs near infrared light and the device is able to use this information to project the image.”
The purpose of this study is to assess the efficiency of the device with the hope of reducing donor and patient anxiety. Given consistent shortages in donor blood supply, the success of this technology has the potential to motivate more individuals to give blood, and increased speed in helping emergency personnel open IV lines to dispense critical fluids and medicine.