Hospital gets new “vein viewers”


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Your next visit to the doctor may get a little less painful.

That’s because workers at Union Hospital are using new technology to locate veins. Frequent patient Vern Fellows says that it makes life for him more comfortable.

“I have trouble with the veins and this will make it that much easier,” said Fellows.

The vein viewer machine highlights your veins with Near IR light. It’s main purpose is to cut down on needle pokes and keep your veins healthy.

Registered Nurse Courtney Chastain says it also helps find the best veins for a given procedure.

“What it does is it illuminates the vein that’s already there to see if it’s an optimal spot or maybe a spot that we don’t want to use,” explained Chastain. “Maybe it connects with another vein or valve that would prevent it from being a good place to put an IV.”

Other vein highlighting technology may struggle to highlight veins against multiple skin tones, but the viewer doesn’t.

“It has the ability to have three different colors, so you can try to match the skin tone to get the best view of the patient,” said Chastain. “Other ones on the market only have one single color, so that gives us even more patients that we can help with this technology.”

Chastain says the tech in the viewers was originally developed in the film industry.

The Union Health Foundation purchased five viewers using a more than $60,000 grant during the fall and Union Hospital recently purchased six more.