QEII Foundation donors make treatment less painful for patients

Vein finder

Demonstrating one of the QEII's vein finders.

QEII Foundation donors are providing relief to patients who experience extreme discomfort during treatments that require access to their veins. The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s Diagnostic Imaging Department is now home to one of the most simple but effective pieces of technology – vein finders.

Using a combination of infrared light sources that react to hemoglobin, vein finders allow healthcare providers to get an accurate image of veins when they cannot easily be felt or seen by the naked eye.

This means healthcare providers require fewer attempts to access veins, resulting in a less painful and stressful experience for patients.

“This donor-funded technology helps our teams deliver even better patient care,” says Pearl Duffy, Health Services Manager, MRI and District CT, Diagnostic Imaging Services. “Not only does the vein finder assist teams in finding the most comfortable access point and identifying vein direction, it can also allow them to determine the most comfortable size needle gauge based on the patient’s vein size.”

“In one of my experiences with the vein finder, the patient had four repeated appointments that required access her veins, and in one case they were unable to access her veins even with ultrasound,” says Nicole Lever, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Technology Technologist at the QEII.

“She was suffering from severe anxiety about the IV because of her experiences, and she was very nervous before I brought her into the room. By using the vein finder and some warm blankets I was able to successfully access a vein in her forearm on the first attempt. She was so relieved not to be poked repeatedly that she cried, and after her scan she and her companion brought cookies to the registration desk as a thank you.”