Health Team

Device makes finding veins easier

Posted October 10, 2011

— For people with smaller or hard to find veins, a trip to the doctor or hospital for blood work can leave them feeling like a pin cushion more than a patient.

Nurses and phlebotomists can have trouble finding a vein to draw blood from or establish an IV line, sometimes having to stick patients several times before finding just the right vein.

A third of all first attempts at vein punctures fail.

Daisy Brinkley, a heart patient at WakeMed Hospital, knows all too well what it’s like when nurses struggle to find a vein. Brinkley’s veins are smaller and not as close to the skin.

“Poke me up several times before they find the right vein,” Brinkley, of Littleton, said.

Thanks to a new device that helps technicians identify good veins, however, trips to the doctor for patients like Brinkley could become a lot more comfortable.

Accuvein, a small device, reveals dark shadows of veins and allows doctors and nurses find the best possible vein as opposed to just veins they can feel.

Matt Phillips, a phlebotomist at WakeMed, said the device is simple but very effective.

Finding veins easier with new device Finding veins easier with new device

“It uses an infrared light and it detects the hemoglobin that’s in the blood,” he said.

Older technology required a dark room to see vein patterns, but with Accuvein technicians can see veins in any lighting with different skin types. It’s not used on all patients, but for those with hard to find veins it’s a major improvement.

For Brinkley, anything that makes trips to the doctor quicker and more painless is a plus.

“It was pretty easy,” she said. “I like it. I think it’s nice.”


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  • straitlover1965 Oct 13, 2011

    Cool! My mom could have used that for her chemo treatments before she finally got her port. They always ahd so much trouble finding veins, at least good ones. :)

  • BeKind Oct 13, 2011

    Amazing invention!! Kudos to the developer as I have often suffered with numerous needle sticks.

  • obx4ever Oct 13, 2011

    Can I purchace one to carry around! I have the Worst veins to locate. Great technology.

  • fuzzmom Oct 12, 2011

    Thank goodness!!

  • leoboth Oct 11, 2011

    I worked with Matt and he is nothing but a great guy and a great phlebotomist...
    You go Matt

  • Jimmy_Phillips_was_here Oct 10, 2011

    Thank you for posting the video!!!

  • Jimmy_Phillips_was_here Oct 10, 2011

    WRAL, I hope that you all can post the video on your website so that we can share it with our family members & friends!

  • Jimmy_Phillips_was_here Oct 10, 2011

    Matt is my son and I am so very proud of him!!! He told me about this device being available long before WakeMed purchased them and he was very excited when they decided to purchase them. Way to go, were very professional and have an excellent bedside manner with your patients!!!!

  • mapufpaff Oct 10, 2011

    Wooot Woot yay Matt and Phlebotomy WakeMed

  • Scubagirl Oct 10, 2011

    What an AWESOME tool that is! Wish it had been available when I was nursing. I know the patients will like it as well. Such a cool thing!