Purpose: to evaluate the effectiveness of a vein-viewing device on the success of venipunctures performed by staff nurses on a pediatric surgical unit.
Method: this prospective, non-randomized study examined pediatric inpatients from the age of newborn to 17 years requiring vascular access at a tertiary care center in northeast Florida. The number of attempts, age of the patient, and time required to establish successful vascular access using a vein-viewing device were self-reported by nursing staff (experimental group, n = 91, mean age 9 years, range 3 days to 17 years) as well as staff, patient, and parental comments about the device. These data were compared to baseline data (control group, n = 150, mean age 5.7 years, range 11 days to 17 years) previously collected on the same unit without using the device. The outcome variables were first-attempt success rate, the number of attempts per patient, and the time to procedure completion.
Findings: when comparing the two groups, the first-attempt success rate increased from 49.3% to 80.2%, the mean number of attempts per patient decreased from 1.97 to 1.29, and the percentage of procedures completed in 15 minutes or less increased from 52.8% to 86.7%. Results were statistically significant for all outcome variables between the two groups and also when re-analyzed in subgroups controlling for age.
Conclusions: use of a vein-viewing device significantly improved first-attempt venipuncture success rate, decreased the number of attempts per patient, and decreased procedure time for the study population. The device was well received by patients, families, and staff.