The end might well be in sight for difficult venipunctures. Health Today, tells us about a new invention being trialled by the Australian Red Cross.
Dr Dan Waller of the Red Cross said that they are ‘keen to retain young donors’ and the hope is that by using some state of the art technology they will be able to do just that.
But it is more than a fancy gimmick.
The device projects an image of the donor’s veins onto their arm, helping the insertion of the needle into just the right spot.
The device works by detecting a protein in the blood (haemoglobin) which absorbs infrared light and helps to create a visible but virtual map of the accessible veins.
This technology is already being used in hospitals when finding veins in ill people can be a real challenge.
The Australian Red Cross is hopeful that using the new, portable version of this gadget will help to alleviate some of the fear and anxiety associated with blood donation. It looks particularly likely to be useful for donors with small veins.
Christie digital reports on a study which demonstrates that such a device has value in following veins, even those not visible to the eye. In a study by Accuvein, 8 out of 10 of the participants said they would be more likely to donate blood if vein illumination was used.
Dr Choy, a physician from the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital says that with this invention ‘We can make a big difference to improve the way people get their blood drawn’.
The Australian Red Cross is trying the device on a total of 900 donors in two locations in Sydney so it looks like difficult donations from hard to find veins will now be a thing of the past.