Will vein visualisation technology help blood donors?

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Vein visualization technology (VVT) devices use near-infrared light to assist location of peripheral veins. The current study investigated the impact of VVT on donor experience and collection success for young blood donors at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service” Waller et al (2016).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Vein visualization technology (VVT) devices use near-infrared light to assist location of peripheral veins. The current study investigated the impact of VVT on donor experience and collection success for young blood donors at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study in donors aged 18 to 30 years used a two intervention to one control randomized trial design with 285 new and 587 returning donors recruited at two sites. Donors reported presyncopal symptoms, phlebotomy pain, anxiety and intentions to redonate along with other measures. Participating phlebotomists rated usefulness of the technology. Flow rates, collection volumes and other donation information were taken from routine data.

RESULTS: No significant differences were found between control and intervention groups on presyncopal symptoms, phlebotomy pain, anxiety, intentions to redonate, flow rates, collection volumes or vasovagal reactions (all P’s > 0·05). Phlebotomist ratings of VVT were significantly more positive when they had less than 5 years of experience (P < 0·01) or when the vein was not visible to the naked eye (P < 0·01).

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that VVT does not improve the donation experience for younger blood donors. Staff reports indicate that VVT may have some utility for assisting with difficult phlebotomies.

Reference:

Waller, D., Mondy, P., Brama, T., Fisher, J., King, A., Malkov, K., Wall-Smith, D., Ryan, L. and Irving, D.O. (2016) Determining the effect of vein visualization technology on donation success, vasovagal symptoms, anxiety and intention to re-donate in whole blood donors aged 18-30 years: A randomized controlled trial. Vox Sanguinis. May 11th. [Epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1111/vox.12407.

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