Doctors, nurses, phlebotomists and emergency responder personnel all have occasions in which they must locate a patient’s vein to retrieve blood samples or administer medications. Finding an appropriate vein is not always an easy task. Patients are often subject to multiple venous sticks before health care providers access a vein, and anyone would agree that this can be quite an unpleasant ordeal. To ensure your patient doesn’t have to go through a taxing process and that you don’t waste time trying to find a vein, vein detectors help highlight the perfect location for the prick of the needle.
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Vein Finder Function
The majority of people have highly visible veins, which enable health care providers to perform fast and accurate venous punctures. However, veins are not always visible in children because of fatty tissue. They are also difficult to locate in the elderly, in people having dark complexions or obese patients. In these instances, vein finders are beneficial to patients and medical caregivers alike.
Blood contains oxygen and nutrient-carrying hemoglobin molecules, which readily absorb infrared light. When an active infrared vein finder is applied to the skin, the vessels become visible to the naked eye, as the absorbed light in the hemoglobin make the veins appear darker, which is in high contrast compared to surrounding tissue.
Vein finding devices vary in capability. Some emit lightwaves that penetrate a few millimeters into the skin. The devices make superficial blood vessels easy to locate. Other devices emit lightwaves at higher intensities, which provide detection of deeper veins.
Passive vein finders are another option. Instead of using infrared light absorption, the eyewear devices alter the light that caregivers see by using specially filtered lenses.
Best Portable Vein Finders
What to Look for in a Vein Finder
There are a few important things that you should look for/keep in mind when searching for a vein finder.
Is it Intended for Adults or Children?
While most models can be used on both, some are usually only intended to be used on one. A vein finder that is made for children has a much lower LED light effect which is not good for adults who need more light in order to see their veins. It’s important to make sure to check before buying one to make sure you get the correct model.
Does it Have a Rechargeable Battery?
If you intend to buy an active vein finder you want to make sure it has a rechargeable battery. This can help to make sure that you don’t have to constantly keep investing in new batteries all the time in order for it to work.
It’s also a good idea to check to see how many battery packs a vein finder comes with. If it comes with one it would be good to have another one on hand that you can charge and quickly swap with the current battery pack when that certain pack needs to be recharged.
Does it Highlight Facial Veins?
Finding facial veins can be a very difficult and delicate thing for vein finders to do. Because of this, some models don’t work well with highlighting facial veins. If you intend to use a vein finder on the face, it’s a good idea to check to make sure if it has the ability to do so.
Can it be Cleaned?
Cleaning a vein finder is very important, especially if you intended to use the same product on multiple people. You want to make sure that the vein finder can be easily sanitized and won’t end up somehow damaging the product if you do so.
A Light Shield
While some vein finder models are made with a light that isn’t too irritating, some do come with very strong lights. These lights can end up irritating your eyes which will hurt them because they are so bright and strong. A light shield can help to protect your eyes when using one and can also help you to better see any veins that might show up with the device.
Veinlite Transilluminator was created to enable healthcare providers and EMS technicians to find veins in the limbs or scalp. The portable, hand-held took is ideal for medical professionals when ultrasound units are not available. Veinlite is suitable for varicose vein imaging, mapping superficial veins and identifying networks of feeder veins, which are often referred to as spider veins.
The device has also been proven to increase the quality of care in pediatric and neonatal cases. The Pediatric Emergency Department of the Children’s Hospital in Boston verified that the Veinlite increased first attempt IV access. The device was demonstrated and met with approval at a PAS meeting in 2005.
The transilluminator highlights veins using 12 orange and 4 red bulbs, which emit light in the infrared and near-infrared wavelengths. An additional 8 white LED lights function in flashlight mode for use as an examination tool. The Veinlite emits a powerful 150 watts of light in a ring-like design, which enables targeting of veins in a specific area.
The unit weighs a mere pound and functions using two AA batteries that provide up to six hours of continual use. The device also comes with a specially designed adapter when needing to locate veins in pediatric patients. You also get a light-shield attachment and 50 disposable plastic covers. The adapter and light-shield quickly snap on or off as needed. Keep the Veinlite ready for use by using the included battery charger. There is also an optional carrying case that attaches via a belt clip, which allows medical personnel to have the unit ready to use at all times.
To use the Veinlite transilluminator, simply dim the room lights, turn the unit on and apply it directly to the skin at a perpendicular angle. Scan the skin to find a darkened vein and map the surrounding area for networks and the best venipuncture site.
Finding small, delicate veins in babies can present a difficult challenge. However, the task becomes easier when using the Venoscope Neonatal Transilluminator Baby Vein finder. The neonatal transilluminator was specially designed with the youngest of patients in mind.
The unit features powerful LED lights. But, the lights are contained within a small head that attaches and detaches from the main power unit thanks to a durable power cord. The smaller, lighted head makes it easy to find veins and perform venous sticks without a problem. Even though the LEDs emit light strong enough to be absorbed into a baby’s tissues, the lights remain cool enough to prevent burning fragile infant skin.
Causing less stress to infants makes for happier medical staff when venipunctures occur quickly and effortlessly. You will be happy to know that the Venoscope neonatal transilluminator weighs a mere six ounces, which makes the device easily portable. You only need three AA batteries to put the device to work. The device also features a low-battery indicator light when you need to change batteries. The Venoscope additionally comes with a one-year warranty.
To use the Venoscope, apply a tourniquet to an arm or a leg on the infant. Dim the room lights. Put the light in the palm of a hand. Position the baby’s foot or hand over the lighted area while holding the Venoscope in place with a thumb. Watch the top of the foot or hand for veins to magically appear. Make sure that what you are seeing is a vein by depressing the site and observing for a refill. After validating that you found a vein, perform the venipuncture.
To use the Venoscope to locate arteries, position the light on the top of one of the infant’s wrists. Monitor for a pulsing action on the opposite side. As arteries do not absorb infrared light, they do not appear as dark lines.
The BVF-260 was specially designed to quickly locate the veins located in the back of the hands. The device is ideal for finding veins in children or adults. The EB Tech device features a simple elongated wand. A series of red LED lights are situated in a central position on one side of the wand. Simply turn the unit on and let a patient grab the device like a baton. The LED lights instantly illuminate all of the subcutaneous veins in the hand for quick venipuncture procedures. You can also adjust the light intensity for a clearer view. The LED bulbs are contained within the unit and do not produce heat. In this way, medical personnel need not worry about patients suffering accidental burns.
The BVF-260 is completely portable and easily fits in a pocket. The ergonomic design makes the device easy to grip for patients of all ages, which is especially important for older individuals who might suffer from arthritis. The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery in the transilluminator provides up to 5,000 hours of continuous service. The unit is ideal for vein identification in clinics, hospitals or home settings.
Created by Vino Optics, the Oxy-Iso glasses closely resemble a pair of affordable sports sunglasses. The grey frames feature deep pink/purple tinted lenses. The glasses were designed to assist normal and colorblind medical staff in identifying venipuncture sites. The Oxy-Iso eyewear is lightweight, comfortable and adjustable. The large lenses additionally protect the eyes from blood splatters.
The specially tinted lenses filter light in such a way as to cause veins to appear as if they fluoresce or glow. The glasses amplify the wearer’s perception of oxygenation, as they hinder perception of variations in the concentration of blood. In this way, medical personnel more easily locate veins beneath the skin. Along with easing the process of finding veins, Oxy-Iso glasses are also useful for identifying bruised or reddened areas, which may not be as highly visible to the naked eye.
The lenses were designed with the science behind colorblindness in mind. As many people suffer from red, green and brown colorblindness. The glasses enable wearers to differentiate between colors by improving the ability to see greens and reds. The sporty glasses also provide UV protection when worn outdoors. The lenses are specially treated to resist fog and scratches.
The Oxy-Amp glasses by Vino Optics were created by using the correlation between blood physiology and color vision. The lenses are made with filters that inhibit narrow light wavelength bands that get in the way. The visible band of light is narrowed to such a great degree that medical staff is then better able to detect O2 signals. The Oxy-Amp glasses are so named, as they amplify oxygenated tissues.
Oxygen within blood attaches to hemoglobin proteins. Oxygen is then transferred to tissues and organs by being carried by hemoglobin through the circulatory system. However, different areas of the body contain varied levels of oxygen at any given time. The filters in the Oxy-Amp glasses lenses are able to separate the changes.
By wearing the glasses, doctors, nurses or phlebotomists see blood-rich regions as bright or dark red. As veins are filled with blood, they would be more highly visible, which makes locating them easier.
The glasses can also be used to detect bruising or emotion. Bruised regions contain pooled blood, which the Oxy-Amp glass wearers see with increased intensity. Patients feeling angry or embarrassed naturally have an increased blood flow to their facial region. The glasses would more readily detect this difference compared to seeing individuals without the eyewear. Oxy-Amp glasses feature UV protection along with being fog and scratch resistant.
VEINSIGHT Infrared Vein Finder Locator
This versatile, professional-grade vein finder is ideal for nurses as it will transilluminate veins on any part of the body. To add even more convenience for medical professionals, VEINSIGHT vein locatore can be used both as a handheld portable device or set up to be a desktop machine. The charge time is 3 hours for 5 hours of function, so you’ll have no problem carrying this device around with you- no need to worry it will drain out in the middle of your work. To help you clearly see the veins on all tones of skin and skin tissue types, this gadget projects near-infrared light at 850nm wavelength, which then gets absorbed by blood and reflects veins clearly without endangering the patient’s health in the process.
To make sure that the veins are visible in any situation, this device offers you customizable features, such as the changing color of the illuminating rays, adjustable brightness levels, different sizes of the illuminated areas, enhanced, normal, and inverse mode (where the areas surrounding the veins are lit up and the veins remain visibly contrasted).
This device can use light to penetrate up to 12mm into the skin, and any veins located deeper than that won’t be visible. The accuracy of the results is impressive- VEINSIGHT promises a 0.25mm margin.
Lovelylly USB Infrared Vein Viewer Transilluminator
Suitable for both adults and infants, this compact vein detector will help you find veins up to 10mm in depth in no time. The circular design makes it easy to focus on small areas of the body and face and allows for unparalleled detection precision- the diameter of the illuminating circle is 33mm. To ensure you can easily locate veins on dark skin, fatty tissue or in infants, this handheld vein detector uses 15 red LED lights that will make veins stand out as soon as you press the circle against the skin. It’s especially efficient when the lights in the room are dimmed or turned off, although this is not a prerequisite- this detector will work in all types of conditions.
As the Lovelylly USB Infrared Vein Viewer Transilluminator is designed to locate only superficial veins, you can’t rely on this gadget to find arteries. The wavelengths of the near-infrared specter don’t penetrate and illuminate deeper than one centimetre, but it is more than enough for most cases where veins are hard to find without a detector’s assistance.
To function, this vein detector has to be plugged in, whether through a USB cable or through the charger directly. Regardless, it’s easy to use and convenient, and it’s budget-friendly price certainly justifies the lack of its portability.
Accessories to Use with a Vein Finder
There are a few accessories that you can use with a vein finder to make sure it stays clean and works well.
These are extremely important to use to help prevent germs and other problems from spreading each time you use the vein finder. These covers can be easily slipped onto the top of the vein finder and can be removed and disposed of instantly once you’re done using it.
Wipes are good to help with wiping the vein finders off to make sure they stay clean. Many wipes often are made with a special sanitizing mixture which will help to destroy any germs on the device. However, it’s important to be very careful when using these as the liquid from the wipes might cause some problems with the vein finder if it seeps into it.
After using the vein finder and cleaning it off, you want to apply some hand sanitizer on your hands. This can help to destroy any germs on them until you’re able to properly wash them off.
If you’re a nurse and plan to use this vein finder on multiple people, you’ll want to make sure to use some medical gloves. These can help to protect you from any germs that might be on the vein finder after using it on a patient.
A Carrying Case
A carrying case is especially helpful if you need to carry this device around with you at all times. After washing and sanitizing the vein finder, you can just slide it into one of these carrying cases which are small enough to put into a bag or to attach easily to something without causing problems. They will work to help protect the vein finder as well and prevent it from being scratched.
The vein finders in this article are some the top ones on the market to help nurses and others who need to find veins for various purposes. They all come with many helpful features and work to help make finding veins a more comfortable experience. They are a useful product and are worth investing in to help make the job of finding veins in the body much easier.