Saving lives, one vein at a time

December 1, 2016 Word for Word Media 0Comment

One can only imagine what a child cancer patient goes through when being ‘prodded and pricked’ to find a vein in order to receive repeated infusions. Luckily, the children being treated at The Gold Fields Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Out-Patient Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, in Soweto, don’t have to endure such a traumatic and painful procedure anymore, thanks to Abela Africa Medical and ICU Medical as they recently donated a VeinViewer Flex machine to the unit.

What is the VeinViewer Flex?

VeinViewer Flex is a highly portable vascular access imaging device that can help find the optimal venipuncture site and avoid potential complications.

The VeinViewer Flex machine, valued just under R100 000, will assist the doctors and nurses to find their patient’s veins much easier for repeated infusions. Thus, the children don’t have to withstand a distressing search for veins each treatment session. All the doctors – Dr Wainwright, Dr Khan, Dr Naidu, Dr Mahovo and Dr Thambe – and nurses were eager to use the machine. In fact, the VeinViewer Flex machine was tested on a new patient, a minute little girl, of Dr Khan within the hour, and to everyone’s excitement a vein was found within a few minutes. This made the little girl’s first day at the unit more favourable, and hopefully will lessen her fear of later treatments. The comments from the doctors have been “this machine has changed our lives”.

How does it work?

With HD imaging and exclusive Df2 (digital full field) technology, VeinViewer is the only vein illuminator that provides benefits for all patients during the entire pre -, during- and post-vascular access procedure. Projected near-infrared light is absorbed by blood and reflected by surrounding tissue. The information is captured, processed and projected digitally in real time directly onto the surface of the skin. It provides a real time accurate image of the patient’s blood pattern. VeinViewer patented technology, using Active Vascular Imaging Navigation (AVIN), allows you to see blood patterns up to 15mm deep, and clinically relevant veins up to 10mm. With VeinViewer, clinicians can see peripheral veins, bifurcations and valves and assess in real time the refill/ flushing of veins. With visualisation pre-, during- and post-procedure, clinicians can potentially avoid complications from accidental puncture. Improving the total vascular access procedure, not just the stick.

Stamp of approval

According to Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, healthcare providers should use vein visualisation technology. In its newly released Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), based in America, states that vein visualisation technology should be used to ensure patient safety when placing an IV catheter. A key guideline used by healthcare facilities around the world, the INS Standards mandate the use of vein visualisation technology in patients with difficult venous access or after failed venipuncture attempts. Avoidance of multiple needle sticks results in less pain for the patient, lack of treatment delays and more options for future venous access. According to the Standards vascular visualization technology should be used to increase success with peripheral cannulation and for vascular access device insertion. Additionally, the Standards call out the near-infrared vein visualisation category.

Since VeinViewer introduced near-infrared vein illumination technology over 10 years ago, healthcare has studied the effectiveness of devices in this category through numerous clinical trials. Based on the body of evidence, the Standards of Practice recommends that clinicians should “consider the use of nearinfrared (nIR) light technology to aid in locating viable superficial peripheral venous sites and decreasing procedure time forshort peripheral catheter insertion.” The publication stated that near-infrared light technology should be considered “to identify peripheral venous sites and facilitate more informed decisions about vein selection.”

The use of VeinViewer by Christie complies with the INS recommendation and has been clinically proved to improve first-stick success; two VeinViewer clinical studies showing these results are cited in the Standards bibliography.

“We’re pleased that the Infusion Nurses Society has reviewed the evidence and recognised the benefit of near-infrared vein visualisation technology for patients and clinicians,” said George Pinho, president of Christie Medical Holdings, Inc. “VeinViewer is the only device of its kind clinically proven to positively impact quality of care through improved PIV access and patient satisfaction.”

Christie VeinViewer technology can aid clinicians in adhering to these updated standards since it uses near-infrared light to create a real-time digital image of patient vasculature. VeinViewer lets clinicians see peripheral veins up to 10mm deep and blood patterns up to 15mm deep while also locating valves and bifurcations, which aids in pre-stick decision making for the point of insertion. In post-assessment procedures, clinicians can assess the patency of the vessel to help avoid complications. The utilisation of VeinViewer system can help clinicians provide the next level of patient care.

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