The world faces a shortage of blood for lifesaving transfusions, which means we need to buck up our ideas if we want to encourage donations. One thing that might discourage first-timers from returning is having to endure nurses poking around their arm with a sharp needle in order to find a vein.
It’s not exactly the most pleasant experience, and many people are told that their veins are tricky to find. But now, a device that shows a glowing map of your veins could make the whole process a lot easier, and trials of the technology have already begun in Australia.
It may look a little radioactive, but the device is very safe. It works by shining near-infrared light onto your arm, which gets absorbed by the deoxygenated hemoglobin that’s floating around your blood. This creates a glowing green image of your veins that nurses can use to guide where the needle goes in.
While this technology is already used globally in clinical settings to assist practitioners in taking blood samples, it’s now being trialed on blood donors in Sydney by the Australian Red Cross. It’s hoped that reducing anxiety by quickly and easily finding veins without the painful prodding will make donors more likely to return. 300 first time donors and 600 returning donors between the ages of 18-35 will be included in the trial.
Check out this video to find out more: