One of the challenges you may face as a healthcare provider is finding a feasible vein on a patient to puncture. Accessing the veins of some people is difficult, which can lead to multiple needle sticks and leave the patients in pain.
To avoid this situation, you should find a way to locate a suitable vein from the state. You can use a vein finder to easily identify the right vein to puncture.
What is a Vein Finder?
A vein finder is a small medical device that makes it easy for you to identify the right vein to puncture on a patient. Finding the right vein quickly is important for the comfort of the patient and your confidence. When you struggle to find a vein, your confidence in puncturing reduces.
How Do Vein Finders Work?
Vein finders emit an infrared light that illuminates the skin to show the targeted vein. The infrared light cannot be naturally detected by the human eyes. Therefore, most vein finders are used with red light to function properly.
Check the video below to see how a vein finder works:
When the infrared light penetrates the skin, it is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood and, in turn, highlights the vein structure to the naked eye. The light is completely safe.
Most vein finders have to be used in darkened areas to work properly.
There are also vein finder glasses that look like regular sunglasses. These vein finders work by altering the color of the light that is visible to the eye. In turn, you can easily see the veins of a patient.
Vein finder glasses work best in well-illuminated areas.
Benefits of Using a Vein Finder
Sometimes, finding a suitable vein on a patient to puncture is easy and straightforward. In other times, it can be nearly impossible.
For patients for whom locating veins is difficult, a vein finder would come in handy. Examples of patients that would benefit when you use a vein finder include:
- Drug abusers
- Patients that are agitated, restless or won’t stay still
- Burn victims
- Patients that have undergone many intravenous or diagnostics therapeutic procedures
- Obese people
- Patients with dark skin tones
- Elderly patients
Types of Vein Finders
Vein finders can be classified into two types: active and passive. These two types of vein finders work in a different manner to reveal the veins to the naked eye. However, either of the finders would be suitable, depending on your preferences.
Let’s look deeper into these types of vein finders:
#1. Active Vein Finders
Active vein finders are the most popular vein finders on the market. These devices need a power source to work. They can be powered using batteries or electricity.
Active vein finders emit infrared light into a patient’s skin to highlight the veins. Therefore, they have to be used in a darkened area so that the veins will be easy to spot.
There are multiple types of active vein finders on the market. The most common ones are:
- Vein finder apps
- Smart vein finders
- IV vein finders
- UV light vein finders
- Laser vein finder
Ultrasound Vein Finders
Ultrasound or ultrasonic vein finder work like a normal ultrasound. This device will not only highlight a patient’s veins but also reveal their organs and tissues. These are the most popular vein finders used by surgeons. The powerful vein finders are, however, not as portable as the handheld vein finders above.
All the active vein finders work in a similar manner but are quite different. Before choosing a vein finder, think about the environment or situation when you will need to use it.
#2. Passive Vein Finders
Passive vein finders do not require any power to work. These devices are generally glasses. In fact, they look like sunglasses. However, they do not use infrared light.
Vein finder glasses and other passive vein finder use special filtered lenses to change the color of light that you can see. The lenses make it easy for you to see veins on a patient.
Passive vein finders have to be used in brightly-lit areas so that the veins will be easily visible when the lenses change the color of light. The vein finders are small, portable, and lightweight. These vein finders come in handy in case there is a power outage and you need to find veins on a patient.
Guide to Choosing the Right Vein Finder
To find the best vein finder for you, it’s important to think of when you will be using and the features that would be necessary.
Consider the following:
Have a budget in mind before you begin your search for a vein finder.
Most active vein finders are powered by batteries. Decide whether to go for a model that is powered by disposable or rechargeable batteries.
Should you buy an active or a passive vein finder? The environment and type of patients you expect should help you decide on the type of vein finder to go for. Sometimes, it would be better to have both types of vein finders.
Ease of Use
Finding and puncturing a vein can be challenging if you cannot easily find the vein or the patient is fidgeting. Therefore, go for a vein finder that will be easy to use on all patients.
Most vein finders work well with all patients. However, there are some that have been specifically designed for specific groups of patients. If you work with a special group of patients, select a vein finder designed for them.
Finally, choose a portable vein finder if you make house calls or work in a hospital. There are many excellent portable handheld vein finders on the market.
Vein Finder Accessories
There are a number of accessories you should have to make the process of finding and puncturing a vein easy. The top vein finder accessories you should have include:
#1. Phlebotomy Training Course & Venipuncture Practice Kit
#2. IV Starts for the RN and EMT
#3. Venipuncture and Cannulation Book
#4. PROVON Hand Cleaner
#5. Sponge Curity Gauze Sterile Cotton
#6. Johnson & Johnson Band Aids
#7. Nitrile Exam Gloves
#8. Dynarex Latex Free Sterile Alcohol Preparation Pad
#9. Disposable Tourniquet
#10. Medline Sharps Biohazard Disposable Needle Container
#11. Cloroz Bleach Germicide Wipes
#12. Metrex CaviWipes XL
These wipes use Alkyl dimethyl ethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and a small amount of alcohol to kill E.coli, Salmonella enterica, MRSA, H1N1, HCV, HBV, HIV-1, and Tuberculosis. You can use the wipes to wipe up body fluids. However, make sure you wear gloves when using them.
Moreover, since the wipes have a 22.5% concentration of alcohol, they should not be used to clean the vein finder.
#13. Adult Venoscope Disposable Covers
#14. Veinlite Plastic Covers for EMS Box
#15. Illumivein Disposable Covers
Best Vein Finders on the Market
From vein finder reviews from nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals, below are the best vein finders you can buy.
The Miralth vein finder is similar to the Accuvein AV400. This is an expensive model that we only recommend for professionals looking to make a serious investment in a vein finder. The model has medical and hospital grade capability that is provided by the Accuvein vein finder.
With the Miralth Infrared Vein finder, you can carry out multiple intravenous injections daily without having to worry about not being able to locate the vein. This high vein finder can be used on most patients, even those with darker skin tones.
The Miralth is a portable vein finder that is suitable for doctors and nurses. The device works well in both darkened and well lit rooms.
The Veinlite LEDX is a strong vein finder that will help you locate veins on any patient, including those that are obese or that have darker skin tones. This device has a wide opening that makes it easy to access the skin. Therefore, you will not struggle with the angle from which you attempt to find and stick the veins.
This vein finder is recommended for medical professionals that mainly work with adult patients. The device is powered by a rechargeable battery and comes with a size adapter, 50 disposable covers, and a charged in the kit. There are 32 LED lights on this portable vein finder that will illuminate a large area of your patient’s skin when you are searching for veins.
The Veinlite LEDX is the best vein finder for nurses and doctors.
The Illumivein looks like a simple flashlight. This medical gadget features 9 strong red LED lights that ensure it performs optimally. The compact vein finder is portable and can be wrapped around your wrist with a strap.
To get the best results with the Illumivien vein finder, you should read the directions well and maintain contact between it and the patient’s skin.
The Illumivein is an affordable vein finder that will work well on most patients. However, it may not be strong enough to illuminate the veins of patients with darker skin tones.
The Wee Sight is the best vein finder for infants. This vein finder is small and easy to use in an incubator. While designed for infants, the device will also work on frail patients and the elderly. The vein finder is powered by batteries that can last for a few years, depending on how often you would need to use it.
The small design makes the Wee Sight Transilluminator portable. Moreover, it has cool light, which ensures that infants do not get burned.
The vein finder has 12 orange and 4 red LED lights that highlight a patient’s veins. To start using the device, simply turn on the switch that controls all the LED lights. You can use the vein finder in fast-paced environments, such as emergency rooms.
The Veinlite EMS vein finder is powered by two AA batteries. The batteries are included in the pack and, therefore, you will be ready to use the device when you open the package. The vein finder also comes with two disposable covers and a pediatric adapter.
Passive Vein Finder Reviews
The above are the best active vein finders on the market. If you are interested in passive vein finders, check the models below:
The Oxy-Amp vein lenses do not come with frames. You can buy these lenses and fix them on the frames you would like. The Oxy-Amp lenses work just like other vein finder glasses. The lenses make it easy for you to see your patients’ veins.
When working with pediatric patients, you have to minimize their discomfort at all costs. The Oxy-Amp glasses will help you do this. These vein finder glasses are recommended for EMTs and other healthcare professionals that work in fast-paced environments as they make the veins fluoresce. Therefore, you will not have to stick the needle to the patient more than once.
These vein finder glasses are portable, durable and will last for many years.
These durable glass vein finders are made with anti-scratch and anti-fog lenses. Therefore, you will not get distracted when trying to find your patient’s veins. The glasses work best in well-lit environments such as hospitals.
Finding veins in some patients for intravenous injections can be difficult. To make your work easier, you should an accurate vein finder. The above are the best vein finders for nurses and doctors that will make it easy for you to see your patients’ veins.