VeinViewer in Australia

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Intravenous products: One Sydney hospital is among the first in Australia to trial a revolutionary machine that lets clinicians see the veins mapped out on the surface of the skin, reducing the number of failed attempts at cannulation.

The VeinViewer, which will be tested in the hematology unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, displays infra-red images on the skin of the underlying veins. The light shows up the hemoglobin in red blood cells and the image is captured by video camera. The images are processed by a computer and projected onto the patient’s skin using a green light.

The machine, which costs about $50,000, can detect veins six millimetres beneath the skin surface or in the scalp beneath hair and was named by Time magazine as being one of the best medical inventions of 2004.

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