New Vein Viewer, Expected to Ease Process of Donating Blood

A lot of people fear the doctor's office, especially when they have to give blood.

Doctors have a new tool to ease their patients' minds and take some of the pain away.

The vein viewer uses an infrared light to identify the blood.

Then, it projects the picture right on the surface of the skin, making the vein easy to locate.

Radiologist Richard Baum says the vein viewer also works in other ways, "We use it for treating varicose veins at our vein center. We also use it at the hospital to try get intravenous lines placed in patients with poor intravenous access. Just imagine a child who's veins are very small, they are not always in the same place, we can get in with a very small needle using this technology."

The vein viewer also benefits people with chronic illnesses, who need their blood drawn often.

Right now, depending on the patient and vein location, it can see about a quarter of an inch under the skin.

Possibly in the future, with improved technology, doctors will be able to see arteries and maybe even organs.

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