Among the medical must-haves for phlebotomists, nurses, caregivers, and other medical professionals are infrared vein finders.
Using these simple vein light devices will help you save time, reduce wastage of materials like needles and syringes, and avoid the trauma, stress, and pain that patients with hard-to-find veins experience when you are trying to stick them. Examples of these patients include babies, children, the elderly, and those with dark skin.
In this vein finder review, we present the most affordable infrared vein finders as well as the best paramedic vein glasses on the market. But first off, some background.
What are the Benefits of Vein Finders?
If you usually perform cannulation or venipuncture, you know that some people have veins that are difficult to detect.
According to various statistics, medical professionals that do not use a vein light are likely to take patients through most sticks. Patients that go through most sticks are stressed and experience a lot of pain. Moreover, the safety of the procedures reduces with each additional stick. For this reason, nurses and other medical professionals should use vein finders.
Below are the benefits of using vein finders:
- Helps to save time
- Reduces wastage of midline trays, PICC, syringes, and needles
- Reduces unnecessary stress and pain on both the patient and caregiver
- Infrared vein light devices are painless and non-invasive
- Makes veins to be more visible 
How Do Vein Illuminators Work?
You can easily see the veins of most people. However, in others, the veins can be difficult to see. For example, you may struggle to see the veins on people with dark skin or those with fatty tissue.
Infrared vein finders work by emitting infrared rays through LED bulbs. The hemoglobin and Oxygen molecules in the blood readily absorb the infrared light. 
When you plan an active infrared vein locator on the skin, the blood veins become visible to the naked eyes because the hemoglobin absorbs the infrared light and becomes darker in appearance.
Check the video below of the Veinlite vein finder to see how it makes it easy to see veins that are difficult to detect.
Guide to Buying a Vein Finder
Before buying a vein finder, there are a number of things you should keep in mind. In particular, consider the following:
Do you need to illuminate facial veins?
Some portable vein light devices cannot illuminate the small facial veins. If you will be illuminating facial veins in the course of your work, you would need a device like the Vivolight vein finder.
Should you buy a vein finder for babies/children or adults?
Generally, the best vein finders on the market can be used for both adults and children. However, some devices are specifically designed for use on children or adults only.
For example, the Wee Sight Transilluminator is an excellent vein finder for neonates. This tiny vein finder has fewer LEDs and would be perfect for use on toddlers and babies. The device is one of the best vein finders for pediatric nurses.
Best Infrared Vein Finders
Below are the three best vein finders for doctors, nurses, paramedics, and anyone that needs to draw blood from the veins accurately and without causing unnecessary pain.
#1. Veinlite EMS Pro – [for both Children and Adults]
The Veinlite EMS Pro can be used both on children and adults. You can use the finder device to find veins on the scalp and limbs. The portable vein finder comes with a specially designed adapter that is helpful when looking for veins on pediatric patients.
Studies  have proven that using the EMS Pro increases the quality of care in neonatal and pediatric cases. The Children’s Hospital in Boston found out that using the Veinlite increased first attempt IV access.
Using the Veinlite is simple: just dim the lights in the room, turn on the unit, and place it directly on the skin of the patient in a 90-degrees angle. After this, scan the skin to find a darkened vein and map the surrounding areas to determine the vest venipuncture site.
You can use the Veinlite for:
- Identifying spider veins
- Varicose veins imaging
- Mapping superficial veins
Dimensions: 15 x 55 x 21mm
Inside Ring Diameter: 21mm
Batteries: 2 AAA batteries (can run for 3.5 hours on continuous use)
LED Bulbs: 12 orange, 8 white (flashlight mode), and 4 red (near infrared wavelength)
Weight: 13.4 ounces
- Carrying case that can be attached through a belt clip
- 50 disposable plastic covers (to prevent cross-contamination)
- Light shield (to protect your eyes when looking at the patient’s veins)
- Works excellently in low light situations
- Affordable (check current price)
- 5-year warranty
- You don’t need a tourniquet
- Saves some money on eye protection (comes with a light shield) and sanitizing accessories (comes with disposable covers)
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and portable
- Comes with a carrying case
- May not show the veins of patients with dark skin. For such patients, you would need the Veinlite LEDX Vein Finder. This vein finder has 32 bright LEDs embedded around its large opening. Moreover, it has 24 orange lights and 8 red ones, which help to illuminate the veins in people with dark skin
- No battery charger. However, you can use it multiple times during the day. The Veinlite finder can work on batteries for at least 2 months
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The Venoscope Transilluminator II is a high intensity LED vein light that is designed for use on both children and adults. This portable vein finder is FDA-approved and can also be used on dark skinned and obese people.
To use the Venoscope vein finder, you will have to prepare the patient (using a tourniquet, etc.), dim the light in your work area, and then scan where you want to see the veins with the finder.
- Affordable (check price on Amazon)
- Easy to clean with either bleach or alcohol. However, do not submerge it.
- Has a 1-year warranty
- Does not heat too much, even after 15 minutes of continuous use
- Has a low-battery indicator that will show when the batteries are about to be depleted
- Lightweight (weighs less than 7 ounces)
- Does not have a battery charger. However, its batteries will last for a couple of months.
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#3. Wee Sight – Best Pediatric Vein Finder
You would need a pediatric vein finder to minimize pain and discomfort on toddlers or babies when you want to draw blood from them or starting IVs. The Wee Sight is the best pediatric vein finder on the market. The device is tiny, which makes it easy for you to position it on a toddler’s tiny limbs.
The Wee Sight uses high intensity LED bulbs (infrared light – 629 nm) to illuminate the veins of pediatric patients. You have to make it lie flat on the patient’s arm or leg to see the veins. The LEDs do not heat up and will not hurt the toddlers’ or babies’ skin.
The pediatric vein finder works with 2 AA batteries.
Wee Sight Pros
- Works with a tourniquet (see why a pediatric nurse recommended the device here)
- Can also be used on adults with thin skin
- Its curved shape makes it stable when placed on the hand or foot of a toddler
- Lightweight (weighs only 4 ounces)
- Small enough to be used inside an incubator
- LEDs work for years without problems
- Is a little bit expensive for its size (check current price). However, it works excellently.
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#4. Vein Locator Alternative – Oxy-Iso Paramedic Glasses
If you are looking for a vein locator alternative, you should get the Oxy-Iso paramedic glasses. The device looks like an ordinary pair of sunglasses but filter UV rays to correct color blindness and make it easy for you to see the veins on your patient.
When you wear the vein glasses, you will easily see superficial veins, detect rashes, and blood oxygen levels.
How Do Vein Glasses Work?
These specially tinted lenses filter light entering your eyes and, in turn, make the vein fluoresce and easily visible. You will also see the blood oxygenation level in the patient’s body. When you wear the vein finder glasses, you will only need to stick one needle to a patient.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- The large lenses protect your eyes from blood splatter
- Affordable and comes with money-back guarantee (check current price)
- Can be used by medical staff or caregivers that are colorblind
- Don’t hurt the eyes, even when worn all day
- Not comfortable to wear over prescription glasses. However, you can take uncut Rx lenses to your optometrist to have them cut to your prescription.
- Can only be used under a strong indoor light or bright sunlight. If you are in a dark room, you would need a strong portable lamp or flashlight to light up the area.
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Vein Finder Accessories
If you would be using vein finders on different patients, there are a number of accessories you should have. These include:
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Gentle Germicide Wipes
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Disposable Slip Covers
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Editor’s Verdict: Which is the Best Infrared Vein Finder?
In this guide, we looked at both active and passive vein finders. If you usually work with adults and children, the best vein finder to buy would be the Veinlite EMS Pro. This vein finder has a long battery life, is easy to use, and comes at an affordable price.
If you are a pediatric nurse or only deal with pediatric patients, you should buy the Wee Sight vein finder.
Sources:: https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/110/6/966/245870 : https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/110/6/888/246274 : https://www.veinlite.com/pub/media/downloads/Katsogridakis-Veinlite-Transillumination-in-Peds-2008.pdf