Technology that could limit needle pokes


The thought of going to see a doctor and having them draw blood from you in the attempt to see what exactly could be wrong with your body remains a painful thought for many. The idea of being pricked through your veins is not one to dwell on. Well, patients in Utah Hospital can rest easy knowing that in the near future, they won’t be pricked more than once for blood tests.

A partnership which has been formed by Intermountain Healthcare and San Francisco-based Velano Vascular is now investigating new technology that could limit unnecessary needle pokes for hospital patients. This means that they will not be pricked more than once for blood tests, which will reduce the amount of pain that patients always undergo.

Co-founder of Velano, Eric Stone said, “One in three hospital patients is stuck with needles at least twice a day during their stay, sometimes, for the same blood draw procedure”. Adding that it can get to be barbaric when having your blood drawn sometimes two to three times a day if you’re in the hospital four or five days.

Kim Henrichsen, chief nursing officer and vice president for clinical operations at Intermountain said, “Multiple pricks cause bruising, making it difficult to find a vein and sometimes leading to more sticks. This is the process that causes pain and anxiety for patients”. For the number of times it is done, streamling venipunctures, or needle sticks, makes sense,” she said.needles

The Velano technology is a single-use, disposable medical device that allows a blood draw to be done through a peripheral catheter that is already placed in most patients’ hands or arms for drug, nutrient or saline infusion.

Henrichsen added on to say that “The catheter has been effective for infusing fluid but not good for pulling blood back. The new device then uses the IV catheter as a conduit to pull lab-quality samples. “It’s simply a tube-in-a-tube approach.”

Stone called the approach “far more humane and compassionate” than using needles to draw blood each time it is needed. With no needle, he said, there is “theoretically less risk.”

He hopes that the technology, which has already achieved food and drug administration clearance, will lead to a change in the standard of care for all hospital patients.

“Every person will spend time at some point in their lives in a hospital,” he said. “Our vision is for it to touch every single human on the planet.”

Velano and Intermountain will record the processes, costs and implications of multiple blood draw approaches in a host of clinical care settings. The information will be used to identify more efficient, new and better ways of doing things.

We hope that this could mean the stop of getting hit by needles countlessly and having a more efffective means of blood draws.