Vein-viewers called a ‘game-changer’ by nurses
February 20, 2019
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Patients who have experienced pain or anxiety while having their blood drawn or an IV inserted may find comfort in new technology that makes it easier to access “difficult” veins. Nurses are calling four new vein viewers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Charlottetown a “game changer.”
The equipment features a unique, high-powered light that displays a real-time, high-definition image of veins beneath a patient’s skin that may be invisible to the naked eye. The vein viewers were purchased by the QEH Foundation at a total cost of $40,000.
Tracey Hagan-O’Connor (pictured), an RN at the QEH, said that’s good news for patients with veins that are small or difficult to access, those who have undergone repeated infusions that may have resulted in collapsed veins, or anyone who finds it stressful to have their blood drawn.
“A lot of the nurses have used it and it’s great. Most patients we’re able to get it on the first time,” she said. “It’s been excellent. It can show the blood flow, it shows the valves.”
Denis Dunne has been going to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for years for his hemochromatosis – a disorder which means his blood is abnormally high in iron. This meant nurses had to find a vein, and his are quite elusive. “I hated to put the nurses through it because I’m just one of those difficult people to find a vein, so it wasn’t something I enjoyed all the time,” he said.
“There was times we weren’t successful and I had to go away, through no fault of their own. It’s just hard to find my vein.”
He’s had this new machine used on him only once by a nurse, who was using it for the first time, he said. It couldn’t have gone better.
“I was amazed how quickly we found that vein and I got rid of the blood and I was on my way in no time at all,” he said.
“I’m going to have a more relaxed feeling when I come here, because I know it’s going to be a hell of a lot easier for me and for the person who is taking the blood, so it’s like night and day. It really is.”
Wendy Poole, an RN at Souris Hospital, said she experienced the technology first-hand when she received chemotherapy at the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre at the QEH.
“During one of my visits, the new equipment was being trialled and nursing staff were able to achieve successful vein puncture on their first attempt on my own difficult access veins,” she said in the release.
“Now that I am back to work, I use this equipment regularly and this new technology is a game changer for nursing staff and their patients.”