Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local Hospital First In State With "Vein Viewer"

Cookeville Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in the state of Tennessee to use a new state-of-the-art technology that helps healthcare providers to see the veins and vessels below the surface of the skin, making the need to access a blood vein a less stressful event, especially for patients who have small veins and limited access points. Officials say the equipment allows Cookeville Regional to join the ranks of other prestigious health care facilities investing in this technology, including M.D. Anderson, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Mayo Foundation.  This new piece of equipment, called VeinViewer, provides medical professionals with a way to be able to see the patient’s veins, making it easier on both the clinician and the patient when performing IV insertion, routine blood sampling and PICC line insertion. Traditionally health care providers rely on their ability to see and feel when they locate veins for such procedures.  Using near-infrared light projected onto the patient’s skin, the device uses a digital video camera and an image processing unit to build a real time image that is painlessly projected onto the patient’s skin, showing a visual roadmap to the patient’s vessels. Using this image, clinicians are then able to easily locate the vein. The process is safe and uses no radiation in creating the image. Although this device can be used on any patient, it will typically be used at Cookeville Regional in the Surgery and Same Day Care Units as well as in special situations when a patient’s vein access is difficult.