Aim Invasive procedures including venepuncture and venous cannulation are distressing experiences for ill children. Painful past experiences and needle phobia can cause the procedure to be more traumatic for the child and more difficult for healthcare professionals. Devices using near infra-red spectroscopy can aid the accurate location of superficial veins thus reducing the number of attempts and time taken to undertake these procedures, and aim to reduce the stress for all involved. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness and acceptability of a commercially available portable vein illuminator in two acute paediatric departments.
Methods A range of health professionals used the device for venepuncture and venous cannulation in children presenting with acute or chronic illness to the departments. A structured questionnaire was completed by the user once the procedure was completed.
Results 40 patients were enrolled in this study (males = 23, females = 17, mean age 4.8 years). Thirty six children underwent venepuncture and 4 underwent venous cannulation. The procedure was completed by registrar in 4 children, by a senior house officer in 24 children and by a nurse in 12 children. Sixty five per cent found the visibility of the veins improved, 5% found the visibility worse, and 30% were neutral. The device was found to be very acceptable or acceptable to parents and children in 92.5% and was graded very useful or useful in 65% and not useful in 35%.
Conclusion The device was found to be useful and acceptable and did aid with phlebotomy within the departments. The best results were seen in younger children whose superficial veins were not visible to the naked eye. Further studies are required with a larger sample size including a wide range of ethnic groups, and ideally with a comparison group.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.