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New Technology at McLaren Greater Lansing Means Fewer Needle Pokes for Emergency Patients

Posted: 11:12 AM, Mar 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-20 08:35:09-04
VeinViewer
VeinViewer
VeinViewer Vision

LANSING, Mich. — Nobody likes getting poked with a needle, but in the emergency department, it can be a necessity. Thankfully, new state-of-the-art technology is helping McLaren Greater Lansing’s emergency department nurses find veins faster and with more precision than ever before.

McLaren Greater Lansing is now using the VeinViewer Vision2 to let caregivers get an inside view at a patient’s veins before picking up a needle. “You’re not searching for a vein,” said Taryn Hull, RN, Emergency Department Educator at McLaren Greater Lansing. “The VeinViewer helps us visualize veins of patients quicker and more accurately than just feeling for one.”

The VeinViewer works without ever having to touch your skin, using only a near-infrared light to project a real-time, high-definition image of your veins directly onto any area of your body. “The technology is safe to use on newborn babies, even on the small veins on their scalp,” said Hull. “It can be used on everyone from infants to the elderly.”

The staff at McLaren Greater Lansing’s emergency department is highly skilled in blood draws and starting an IV, but the VeinViewer gives them an unprecedented level of precision that is especially helpful for patients who are dehydrated, have collapsed veins, small veins, or veins that are harder to spot. “Everyone is different, and every vein is different,” said Hull. “You can’t always see where a valve is in your veins, so it helps because you can hold your finger on a vein and see if it fills back up quickly.”

For patients with especially strong phobia of needles, the VeinViewer is peace of mind that the quick poke will likely be the only one they need while they’re in the emergency department. “We’re cutting down on the number of times we need to poke a patient,” said Hull. “We can use one needle poke for most of a patient’s lab work, so we’re already improving that number.”

The VeinViewer’s mobility means it can be used quickly and effectively, even if a patient is already in a hospital bed. It can be wheeled to any spot, with a long arm that can easily extend to reach any spot on the body and instantly give a clear picture of what is just below the skin. The device is so advanced that it can even see deeper and smaller veins than similar imaging technology in the recent past.

“The VeinViewer gives us an opportunity to better serve our patients and better serve our community,” said Hull. “We want patients to be as happy as they can be when they come to the emergency department, and we’re proud to have technology that can make their stay a little bit easier.”