Infra-red system shows up veins

Frimley Park Hospital has become the first hospital in the UK to use specialized imaging equipment to make a common clinical process much less painful for patients.

Infra-red system shows up veins
Infra-red system shows up veins

Frimley Park Hospital has become the first hospital in the UK to use specialized imaging equipment to make a common clinical process much less painful for patients.

Andrew Barton, a clinical nurse specialist in vascular access, is the first in the UK to use the Veinsite hands-free system developed by VueTek Scientific (Gray, ME, USA) to aid the cannulation process, when patients need to have medication administered via a tube (cannula) directly into their veins.

"Some of our patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses like hematology and cancer, often require multiple cannulations to receive their drug therapy. As a result their veins can become quite poor and difficult to see by conventional methods which can then make cannulation quite painful,” says Barton.

"The Veinsite headset uses infra-red light to show up superficial veins to a depth of 7mm which you would not otherwise see, so we can be entirely accurate when we insert the cannula making the whole process less traumatic and painful for patients. This is particularly beneficial for older patients who may have thin skin or those with little flesh between the vein and the surface of the skin which can make it difficult to cannulate," he adds.

Frimley Park, which serves patients from Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, took delivery of the equipment in December 2012 thanks to a £7,500 grant from the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund which supports improvements to the care and treatment of those with leukemia and other hematological malignancies.

It is believed to be the first hospital outside the US -- where Veinsite is used primarily for varicose vein treatment -- to use the equipment to support patient cannulation.

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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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