If you are a nurse, phlebotomist, or EMT, you will need to find veins in patients many times. Finding veins in some patients may not be easy. Moreover, you do not want to repeatedly stick the patient as this will only increase trauma.
The good news is that it is now easier to find patient’s veins thanks to a set of devices known commonly known as “vein finders”. In this review, we will look at three of the best portable vein finders in the market that can be used both by medical and non-medical professionals.
But before we get into the review, let’s get some background information about vein finders.
What is a Vein Finder and How Does it Work?
Locating the veins of children, elderly patients or personal with dark-colored skin can be quite difficult. When you need to administer emergency medication, the last thing you want is to keep squeezing your patient’s arm over and over again trying to find the right veins. To make your work easier, you can use a vein finder.
The blood has hemoglobin, which absorbs infrared light. A vein finder works by shining infrared light on the skin, which in turn makes the veins more visible to the eye. Depending on the power of the vein finder you are using, the infrared light may only penetrate a few millimeters into the skin. Therefore, only the superficial vasculature will be easy to find. However, the device will greatly improve your ability to find the right veins in nearly all patients.
There is also another type of vein finder that does not shine light on a patient’s arm. Instead, you wear the vein finder just like you would sunglasses but the light entering your eyes will be altered so that you see the vein easily. We’ve reviewed these venipuncture glasses here.
Now, let’s get started with our vein finder reviews.
Best Vein Finder for Nurses
Below is an overview of the best vein finders on the market.
The LEDX is the most powerful transilluminator vein finder from Veinlite. This device has 32 LED lights; 8 red and 24 orange. The vein’s opening is large and produces bright light, which makes it easier to find deeper veins on any patient, even those that are obese or have dark pigmentation.
The LEDX vein finder uses a rechargeable Lithium-ion (LiPo) battery that has a lifespan of three years or 500 cycles. The battery will power the device for about 160 minutes before you will have to recharge it. Unlike is the case with some locked-down devices, you can replace the LiPo battery when it reaches the end of its lifespan.
The LEDX is one of the best vein finders for nurses. The device has a CE certification and has been cleared for use by the FDA. This device is particularly helpful in vascular surgery and sclerotherapy treatments.
The Veinlite EMS Transilluminator has 16 colored LED lights that help to reveal a patient’s veins. The device has 4 red bulbs and 12 orange ones and is quite affordable compared to other vein finders for nurses. The device is recommended for use by emergency response teams.
The Veinlite Transilluminator runs on two AA batteries that can last up to 6 hours on continuous use. The vein finder is simple to use and has an adapter for use with pediatric patients. You can use the device to easily find veins on the legs, forearms and scalp. The light produced by the vein finder is bright enough to shine through a hand or foot of an infant.
The Veinlite EMS vein finder is helpful in locating veins in cases when ultrasound equipment is not available. To make it easier to see the veins, dim the lights of the room where you are examining the patient.
To start off is the EMS Pro. This affordable and portable vein finder can be used to find the veins of both adults and children. The device is simple to operate as it only has an ON/OFF switch. The vein finder is powered by two AA batteries and looks like a thick toy slingshot.
A rounded C-shaped opening embedded with 24 LED bulbs tops the handle of the slingshot. The opening emits bright white light.
To use the Veinlite, you have to hold it against the skin of the patient. Below is an overview of how to use the vein finder:
- Place the device on the skin where you would like to find the veins. The device you should be placed 90 degrees to the vein.
- Move the vein finder back and forth until you locate a vein
- When you locate a vein, rotate the device 90-degree so that it is parallel to the vein
- Press the arm gently with the vein finder in place and push back gently to stretch the skin
- Finally, insert the needle into the vein through the C-shaped opening of the vein finder
Since the EMS Pro touches the patient’s skin, it is important to use germicidal wipes and disposable plastic covers. Do not use alcohol on the vein finders as it can fog the clear plastic that protects the lights.
The batteries of the EMS Pro will last between 3 to 5 hours of continuous use. When the batteries start getting low, the green power light below the switch will become orange. When the batteries have just about an hour of running time, the light will start blinking red.
The EMS Pro can be used both on pediatric and adult patients. The device’s adapter limits the C-shape opening size for small children and infants.
The Veinlite EMS Pro does a great job of speeding up finding veins in different types of patients. However, the device does not work well on patients with dark skin.
The Illumivein Red Portable Transilluminator looks more like a Maglite flashlight. This portable vein finder for nurses uses 9 red-spectrum LEDs to make the veins get seen on the surface of the skin. The LED lights are mounted on a small aluminum cylinder and are powered by three AA batteries.
When you are e in a darkened room and you illuminate the forearm, the veins will appear like shadows.
Below is an overview of how to correctly use the Illumivein to find veins on your patients:
- Press the button at the bottom of the device to power it on
- Press the lighted end of the device against the skin and move it back and forth slowly and gently
- As you move the device, check the red glow surrounding it for shadows that indicate the patient’s veins
It is advisable to search for veins that follow a straight line.
The Illumivein is a good portable vein finder. However, it may not be the best if you are looking to find veins in a patient with darker skin pigment. Moreover, when you find a vein, you should mark it before lifting the light since there is no opening to help you focus on the injection area.See Price on Amazon
The Venoscope II vein finder uses LED lights to shine out the veins on a patient. The device does not look as sleek as the Veinlite models but is more affordable and straight-out works.
To use the Venoscope, you have to keep get it in contact with the skin and move it until it illuminates an appropriate vein for cannulation. This venipuncture device runs on two AA batteries.
The Venoscope does not get excessively hot during use. For example, after 15 minutes of continuous use, the device only heats up to 95 degrees F, which is less than the normal temperature of the skin. The lamp will run for 5000 hours before it burns out.
The Venoscope vein finder is sold with a 1-year warranty.
Tips for Using the Venoscope II vein finder:
- Ensure the device is in contact with the skin
- Look for veins in areas of the body that has some fat. Avoid bony areas
- Dim the lights or close the curtains to make the room darker so that it will be easier to see the patient’s veins
Editor’s Verdict: Best Vein Finder for Nurses
The above are the best vein finders for nurses. Our top pick is the Veinlite LEDX Transilluminator. This vein finder has 32 LED lights and is strong enough to show veins even on patients that have a darker skin pigment. Moreover, the vein finder is powered by a rechargeable battery that can last for up to 3 years.