New device at Erlanger and Children’s Hospitals helps locate hard-to-find veins

It’s about the size of a TV remote control, but the small device known as AccuVein is making a big impact on patients at Erlanger and Children’s Hospitals.

AccuVein, a new technology designed to help access veins for drawing blood and administering IVs, uses a beam of infrared light on the skin to reveal a map of veins just below the skin’s surface. The hand-held device is particularly beneficial in finding a vein to “stick” in young children with small veins. Accessing a vein on the first attempt greatly reduces discomfort and decreases bruising for our smallest patients. AccuVein is also beneficial for elderly patients with small or damaged veins or individuals who may be dehydrated, obese, or have a darker skin tone.

Finding a vein can often be challenging, even for the most experienced health care professionals. Research indicates that up to a third of the attempts to access a vein fail the first time. AccuVein eliminates the need for repeated sticks by helping clinicians locate appropriate veins for IV starts and blood draws without even touching the skin.

AccuVein is currently available in Children’s Hospital Emergency Room and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Additional devices are available for adults in pre-op and surgical units at Erlanger Health System.