AccuVein: Lightweight Medical Device for Finding Veins


Published 2014-04-18 (Rev. 2014-11-11) -- Information on the AccuVein medical device used to easily locate veins beneath a persons skin.

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Quote: "The AccuVein devices are easy to use because they run on batteries and the room does not have to be darkened to use them."

Definition: Defining the Meaning of AccuVein

A privately held company that develops products that aid in the visualization of peripheral vasculature. AccuVein's first product was the AV300. The AV300 is a hand held device that is shone on the body of a patient to enhance the visual contrast of the veins. The device works by shining an infra red light on the area, observing it with a camera, and projecting the image onto the patient's skin.

Main Document

The AccuVein AV400 is a hand-held device that digitally displays a map of a person's vasculature on the surface of their skin in real time. It allows clinicians to verify vein patency while avoiding bifurcations or valves. The device is lightweight; it only weighs 9.7 ounces and it has the ability to convert to hands-free use with optional fixed or wheeled stands.

AccuVein is medical grade and the device can easily be wiped clean or bagged for use in isolation. It does not require calibration because it is permanently aligned. The AV400 may be held in any direction above a person's vein. Universal and inverse modes make the AV400 useful with a variety of people.

The center line accuracy of the AccuVein device is the width of a human hair. The AV400 version has the ability to detect veins up to 10mm deep. Increased effectiveness with venipuncture procedures also decreases discomfort and results in increased satisfaction among people experiencing procedures. It is plain why many facilities have decided to use AccuVein.

Chart showing features of the AccuVein AV300 device
Chart showing features of the AccuVein AV300 device
The AV300 version of AccuVein is a tool which also helps to locate veins for medical procedures and is nearly as portable and lightweight, coming in at a mere 10 ounces. The device is as simple to use as pointing the device at an area of a person's skin and clicking the device to display the peripheral veins located underneath. Since the AV300 was designed for non-contact use it does not require sterilization between uses. The device runs on a rechargeable battery and does not need to be plugged in to an electrical outlet. The AV300 is also flexible enough for use with a variety of people. Features of the AccuVein AV300 include the following:
  • Instant on
  • Small in size
  • Non-contact
  • Hands-free option
  • Movement tolerant
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Works in light and dark

AccuVein AV400 Picture
AccuVein AV400 Picture
For Someone with Epilepsy, A Dream Come True

The AccuVein AV300 and AV400 make this person with epilepsy wish these technologies had existed thirty years ago, to be plain. While the devices are without question highly useful for a great many people, memories of missed veins of the past quickly came to mind and ouch. As someone who has been endlessly patient with phlebotomy students, these devices would have saved a lot of band-aids.

After returning from the military with epilepsy, I discovered that blood draws to find out the levels of medications such as Dilantin or Tegretol in my system were simply a part of life; ones that continue to this day decades later. Phlebotomy students do have to learn how to draw blood on real living people sometime...sigh. Here is an example of what I have endured.

Upon return from the military, it took a couple of years to gain control of the gran mal seizures I was experiencing. After gaining control of the seizures, I went to the Cascades Job Corp Center, where I faced students learning phlebotomy. One day it was blood draw time and oh my...

I sat down and here they came - student phlebotomists. SEVEN attempts to draw a blood sample later, they finally called for their instructor, Nell. Nell came in and said, 'I could throw darts at his veins!' She then glanced at my arm, looked the other way, and drew a perfect sample. I truly felt for the students; really. AccuVein sure would have made things easier for those students, no doubt about it.

Venipuncture is something that can be rather challenging in some people. Not everyone has veins that stand out like a sore thumb.

Difficult Blood Draws may Include Ones From:
People on chemotherapy
Restless or agitated people
People who have experienced burns
People with dark skin whose veins may not be visible
People who are obese whose veins may not be palpable or visible

Looking back at the phlebotomy students I have encountered, I truly do forgive them. Accessing a vein is not always as easy as people and their caregivers would like it to be because veins are not always readily identified. Frequently a doctor, nurse, phlebotomist or student phlebotomist has to press on a person's skin to feel for the location of the vein and then make what amounts to an educated guess based upon their tactile sensitivity an instinct. The process is basically like trying to find a person's vein with a blindfold on.

AccuVein Devices and Medical Personnel

AccuVein devices are incredibly useful to a variety of medical personnel. For emergency doctors, they provide the ability to treat people more rapidly if they arrive in the emergency department with an IV already in place. Yet in the back of a racing ambulance, inserting a needle in a person's vein is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. AccuVein devices provide emergency personnel with the ability to pinpoint the location of veins beneath a person's skin, helping them to insert an IV.

As nurses are aware, of all invasive medical procedures venipuncture is very common and attempts can fail. When drawing blood or performing an IV insertion procedure on a person whose veins are hard to access, the potential for multiple needle sticks increases and the time available for caring for the person drops. AccuVein devices certainly help to decrease the number of attempts required.

Where doctors are concerned, AccuVein devices are highly valuable. Whether it involves drawing blood specimens or starting IV's, venipuncture is the most commonly performed invasive medical procedure. It is also one that regularly requires time and several attempts to achieve success. The fact is - establishing IV access in people with difficult veins may take up to 10 minutes! AccuVein devices also save costs through:

  • No use of consumables
  • Time saving and improved efficiencies
  • Avoidance of catheter-related infections
  • Avoidance of escalation to PICC/Central lines

Using an AccuVein device, a nurse or phlebotomist (as well as the person) has a much easier life. The nurse or phlebotomist holds the device over the person's skin to help locate the veins. The chances of the procedure being done right the first time increase. AccuVein devices were designed with safety in mind and the goal of minimizing complications of venipuncture. The light projected by AccuVein devices can detect veins without requiring physical contact with a person's skin.

Additional Benefits of AccuVein Devices

AccuVein devices look similar to a cordless telephone. They are small enough to be held in a person's hand, or put in their scrub pocket. The devices may be attached to a table, bed, or chair, or to be set in it their own stands so a doctor, nurse or other medical personnel has both of their hands free to draw blood or start an IV. The AccuVein devices are easy to use because they run on batteries and the room does not have to be darkened to use them. Due to the portability of the devices, there is no need for a person to be transported to the device.

Honestly, most people do not find getting stuck by needles to be an enjoyable experience. AccuVein devices can make blood draws and IV's less stressful. When doctors, nurses and phlebotomists use the devices to help find a person's vein for a blood draw or to start an IV, people might feel more confident in the skill of their caregiver. There is also the, 'Wow!,' factor when people see their veins mapped out under the light of AccuVein devices. Personally, I think of how many bruises and band-aids the devices can save people.

Related Information:

Home Health Monitoring: Products & Device Reviews - Disabled World
• Revolutionizing the Way Blood Pressure Measurements are Taken - University of Leicester - (Feb 21, 2011)
• DIDGET Monitors Blood Glucose via Nintendo DS - Bayer Diabetes Care - (Apr 26, 2010)
• Ensuring Home Medical Devices Are Easy to Use and Caregivers Well Trained - National Academy of Sciences - (Jul 19, 2011)
• Home Health Care Equipment - Kevin Stith - (Feb 08, 2009)

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