COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Technology that provides a visual map of veins prior to venipuncture and other procedures is now available for patients at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC).
In February, AccuVein® vein visualization devices were introduced on the medical center’s patient care floors, as well as in the Emergency Department and Maury Regional Cancer Center.
The hand-held device—about the size of a remote control—uses lasers similar to barcode scanners and invisible infrared technology to illuminate veins near the skin’s surface before blood draws, IV access and other procedures that require venous access.
“This technology takes much of the guesswork out of a needle stick and more importantly, helps our staff members locate a vein that will provide good access to deliver the patient’s treatment,” said MRMC Cardiology Nurse Manager Lisa Chambers, whose unit was among the first to use the technology.
Vein visualization helps providers avoid hitting valves and bifurcations, which can not only cause pain, but also obstruct the flow of fluids. In addition to increased patient satisfaction and less pain, identifying a vein before the needle stick can allow treatment to begin more quickly. It can also eliminate the need for a more invasive procedure, such as a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), to gain access to a vein.
“This technology will benefit patients of all ages whose veins may be difficult to locate,” said Assistant CNO Holly Kunz. “From our youngest patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who have very tiny veins to older adults whose veins tend to be quite fragile, patients can feel comfortable knowing our staff members have an additional tool to guide them in finding a suitble vein for their test or treatment.”
The unit can be used alone or with a hands-free accessory that allows a staff member to perform a needle stick while viewing the vein structure. Additional benefits of the vein visualization tool include:
- Veins are displayed in real time
- An inverse mode enhances the visibility of smaller veins
- The device can be used for patients of all ages, weights and skin tones
- No direct contact with the skin