Near-Infared Technology Eliminates Guesswork for Sharp’s RNs

Sharp Chula Vista (Calif.) Medical Center recently acquired the VeinViewer — a device they say is making a difference not only for their patients but also their nurses.

Drawing blood and inserting IV lines can be difficult in patients with hard-to-find veins. Using the VeinViewer’s near-infrared light, nurses are able to see patients’ veins clearly on the surface of their skin. The device’s real-time technology allows nurses to follow patients’ veins if they move, eliminating the need for guesswork and multiple needlesticks.

“Nobody likes having their blood drawn or an IV line inserted,” said Judy Lohman, RN, manager of acute care. “We’re excited to have the VeinViewer because it gives patients confidence in our ability to access their veins on the first try.”

The Food and Drug Administration-approved VeinViewer uses a near-infrared light to project images of veins on the skin. The light reacts with hemoglobin in the tissue surrounding the veins, resulting in a green square of fluorescent light that clearly displays patients’ veins on the surface of their skin.

In addition to drawing blood, the VeinViewer can be used for patients receiving medication intravenously to ensure medication is delivered to their bloodstream and not their tissue.

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