The placement of peripheral intravascular (IV) catheters, also called cannulation, is a common medical procedure that is routinely performed to enable delivery of medications and fluids, as well as to allow sampling of blood.
Cannulation requires skill and patience but at times can be difficult, time-consuming and frustrating.
Although it is the most common invasive procedure still over 30% of first attempts to place an IV catheter fail, resulting in significant costs and patient discomfort.
Detection of the moment of correct insertion of cannula into the vein is vital for the whole procedure. If the cannula is not correctly placed blood may leak into the surrounding tissues; this is known as “tissuing” or a “blown vein.” Further attempts to “find” the vein, when the needle is already in the lumen of the vein, may lead to damaged veins, tissue damage and rendering the vein unusable, sometimes for weeks. Also multiple punctures and damage to the posterior wall of the vein with the point of the catheter can lead to thrombosis and then further to phlebitis.
Visual confirmation is the core element to verify successful placement of the needle in the vein.
What is OptiVein?
The OptiVein system in an innovative technology intended to increase first time cannulation success rate. It uses transillumination of skin tissue to aid in cannulation.
It consists of the OptiVein IV Catheter with an integrated optical fiber, and an electronic unit. The electronic unit is a portable internally powered generator of low power visible laser light of green color.
How does it work?
The electronic unit generates visible light, which is released from the tip of the needle into the soft tissue around the tip of the IV catheter. Light is visible through the skin and helps mark the location of the tip of the needle under the skin and against the vein.
In addition to pinpointing the exact location of the tip of the needle, the OptiVein System informs the user of the exact moment of penetration of the tip of the needle into the blood vessel. Hemoglobin in blood strongly absorbs visible light of specific wavelengths, so when the needle enters the blood vessel, the light is instantly absorbed by blood, which causes instant fading of skin transillumination. Instant disappearance of tissue illumination indicates successful venipuncture. Such optical confirmation is much faster than the traditional observation of blood in the flashback chamber of the needle and should lead to increased first- attempt success rates and decreased cannulation-related complications.
Optivein – safe and efficient IV access
The Optivein system is designed with aims to provide safe and efficient IV therapy, to simplify the cannulation process and to increase patients safety and satisfaction.
Increasing the success rate of peripheral intravenous catheter starts will: