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New device makes getting blood drawn easier for children

September 23, 2011 4:42 PM

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A new device introduced at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) is proving a hit with parents and children.

The new device is being used by doctors and nurses to find veins in patients.  Finding a vein can sometimes be a challenge with adults but is even more difficult with children. 

The device is called the AccuVein AV300 and is a small, lightweight, handheld device that “paints” veins in a high-visibility pattern using infrared light.  It is held seven inches above a patient’s veins, and when a button is pressed, the red light is projected over the area to conspicuously highlight veins below the skin’s surface.

With this device it is much easier for children to get their blood taken and they get to see how their veins show up under the light.

Kathleen Large is mum to Ethan aged 10 from Annan.  Ethan needs to undergo an endoscopy procedure and requires a needle to be inserted before the procedure begins.

His mum Kathleen said:  “I think this is a great device which really helps find those smaller veins that are difficult to get in infants and babies.  Anything that helps the patient is a good thing.

“Having watched it work on Ethan, it really shows the depth of the vein so it helps doctors and nurses see just how good the vein really is which is helpful for them.  It means they don’t need two or three goes to get the needle in which can be upsetting for any child.”

Dr Graham Bell, Consultant Anaethetist at the RHSC said:  “One of the most difficult things for children can be the process of taking blood or inserting a tube into the vein.  It can be hard to see the veins, particularly in babies and we may have to try a number of times before being successful. "

“This device gives us more options by identifying veins invisible to the naked eye.  It also helps identify which veins are the best so we hope this will mean fewer unsuccessful attempts and therefore less distress for the children and their parents."

The device at the RHSC was funded by the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation but has proved so successful other hospitals in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are looking at introducing it for use with adult patients.

ENDS

For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]. 

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