The Hutt Hospital Foundation Trust recently purchased 3 VeinViewers for $19,000, of which the T G Macarthy Trust generously donated $8,500. The VeinViewer is an imaging device that uses near infrared light to visualise veins and is used to help clinicians detect the location of veins, up to a depth of 1 cm beneath the skin. The device is easy to use, portable, and can be used on paediatric and adult patients alike.

Studies have shown that vein visualisation can help improve the success rate of intravenous procedures dramatically (e.g. IV line insertion, blood sampling), and it can also prevent failed venepuncture attempts due to difficult to find veins.

The 3 VeinViewers are kept in the Emergency Department (ED) (1 unit), and ICU (2 units). The ED VeinViewer can be shared between MAPU, Endoscopy, and CT/MRI, while the 2 VeinViewers in ICU can be shared across the rest of the hospital.

The photo at the top shows patient Dorothy Kennedy who came to the hospital for an outpatient scan. For this to happen, she needed to have an IV line placed in a large vein on her arm. Dorothy’s veins are fragile and there have been times in the past where it was difficult to put lines into her. The VeinViewer allowed the clinical staff to find the location of her veins quickly and ascertain if the vein quality was appropriate for the intended purpose. The device assisted in the successful IV insertion on the very first attempt.

vein viewer in action

Hutt Hospital CT scan radiographers familiarising themselves with the VeinViewer (from left to right Clare, Patricia, and Laura).


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